Samuel Kettell, ed. Specimens of American Poetry. 1829.
Critical and Biographical Notice
Henry Pickering (17811838)
HENRY PICKERING is a resident of Salem, Massachusetts, and son of the Hon. Timothy Pickering. We have met with the name of this gentleman but recently. His poetry is perhaps too much of the old school, to suit the taste of the day. He is, however, a poet, and his works will doubtless survive much that is read and admired more, at the present moment.
One of the characteristics of a poet, we apprehend to be, an imagination which perceives the beauties of nature, but never perceives them alone; as the moon has its halo, and the rainbow its imitation, so to him has every leaf, and flower, and wood, and waterfall, some associated counterpart. Such an imagination is a mirror, which catches the forms of nature, and reflects their moral resemblances as the lake gives to the eye a duplicate of the landscape, more beautiful than that which blooms along its border.
We think the specimens which follow, will show their author to be possessed of this master talent of a poet in a high degree of perfection. If the reader is disposed to be critical, he may perhaps observe an occasional want of music in the versification. The writer, also, is too partial to blank verse; a vehicle not generally suited to other than great subjects.If Mr Pickering were to write under any very strong sense of responsibility to public opinion, he would easily remove the defects we have noticed.