Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

download word file, 4 pages 5.0

An American Poet The introduction to Stephen Vincent Benét from the Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism states: "He conveyed his faith in the enduring existence of America's fundamental ideals: the virtues of the democratic system of government, the possibility of a common spirit unifying a diverse populus , and, most importantly, the value of the individual" (TCLC 68). Stephen Vincent Benét was an American poet whose works were a combination of romanticism (idealized, optimistic view of life) and realism (factual, objective details of ordinary life). Benét was an author who had a profound love and vast knowledge of his homeland: Benét, Stephen Vincent, (b. July 22, 1898, Bethlehem, Pa., U.S. - d. March 13, 1943, New York, NY), American poet, novelist, and writer of short stories, best known for John Brown's Body, a long narrative poem on the American Civil War (Fenton).

Born into a military family, Stephen was raised on military posts by his father, Colonel James Benét.

"His father read poetry aloud to Stephen, an older brother, William Rose, and a sister, Laura, all of whom became writers" (Fenton). Stephen was 17, a student at Yale University, when he published his first book, entitled Five Men and Pompey (Fenton). "Civilian service during World War I interrupted his education at Yale Univerisity. When the war was over he returned to Yale. In 1919, he received his master of arts degree, submitting his third volume of poems instead of a thesis" (Fenton). A Guggenheim fellowship took him to France, with his wife, the former Rosemary Carr. While there he wrote John Brown's Body (1928), which won (1929) a Pulitzer Prize for poetry (Hart 198). "Over 300 pages, the poem covers the Civil War from John Brown's raid at Harpers Ferry, W. Va., to peace at Appomattox" (198). The second Pulitzer was...