Early American Literature

2005 Words Dec 17th, 2006 9 Pages
American Literature begins in the early 1600's with the written works of the new settlers coming from Europe to the New Land of America. Although the Indians lived in America before the first Europeans arrived; their literature was somewhat neglected due to it being transmitted orally with no written works. The American writings of the early seventeenth century possess no great artistic value; they are mainly valuable as a study in origins and understanding America's early experience. During its early history, America was a series of British colonies on its northern coast. Therefore, its literary tradition followed European models of style. However, it was somewhat modified by the new environment. The first Puritan colonists who …show more content…
Edward was the son of a yeoman farmer, and went to Harvard for higher education in divinity. In 1671, he became a pastor in Westfield, Massachusetts, where he stayed there until his death. Taylor's poems were not discovered until 1937 and not published until 1939. Most critics today rate Edward Taylor as the best of the Puritan poets. His best poetry appears in Preparatory Meditations, which were a collection written for his church. He intended the poems to prepare his mind to preach and to celebrate Communion. In God's Determination, Taylor used a debate between good and evil to emphasize God's mercy for people. His works show the influence of the complex style of the English metaphysical poets of the 1600's. Like them, he blended everyday words and incidents with Biblical language and complex metaphors. Meditation 8 is an example of this kind of metaphysical poetry. The characteristics of this poem are its use of strong language and powerful images. The poem opens with Taylor's musings about the vastness and wonder of creation and the unspeakable glories that must lie behind it. Belonging to the colonial and puritan era (1620 –1745), Taylor usually discussed religious themes just as in these lines:
I kenning through Astronomy Divine The Worlds bright Battlement, wherein I spy
A Golden Path my Pensill cannot line, From that bright Throne unto my Threshold ly. And while my puzzled thoughts about it pore I finde the Bread of Life…