James Russell Lowell was an American Romantic poet, critic, editor and diplomat. His work is associated with the Fireside poets – the first group of American poets to rival the British in their work. Their use of conventional forms and meter using in writing on domestic themes and morality were considered suitable for families entertaining by fireside.
Lowell published his first collection of poetry in 1841 and then married in 1844. The mark of this marriage is that of the truest of loves and a marriage that were meant to be remembered for all time. Maria Lowell was a poetess and a deep thinker who even after death continued to have changed his life in all the good ways love should and can.
This dynamic couple then became involved in the movement to abolish slavery. Lowell used his poetry to express his Abolitionist and other political views. He gained a degree of fame by publishing The Bigelow Papers in 1848 satirizing contemporary poets and critics. Thereafter, he went on to publish several collections of poetry and essays throughout his literary career.
Throughout all of this Lowell believed that a poet’s role was to be a prophet and critic of the poet’s society. And so he did and was. Constantly an advocate for necessary reforms. Interestingly, his influence was particularly notable in its influence and inspiration to such writers as Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken.
A really decent look at the theological underpinnings for Lowell and his place in the literary cannon of Western Civilization particular in its American voice can be found below. If you wish to understand the man and his poetry, I found that I could not wish for a better summation than I found in the words already there. So, maybe once you have read the piece for today and if you find yourself wanting to go deeper than the surface, this article might prove useful to you as well.
The Courtin’, by James Russell Lowell, may be read here:
Or, if you prefer, heard in an audiobook format here: