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Bryant. The poet is not so much to paint Nature as he is to recreate her. He interprets her when he infuses his own love into her.
I have also avoided all poems in which the form was difficult. The form of the masters like Tennyson and Wordsworth is easy, easy as it is in organic Nature in her happy moods. I do not want to be compelled to expend any force upon the poet's form-I want it all for his thought. A tortuous and difficult channel may add to the beauty of a mountain brook, but it does not add to the beauty of a poem. The mountain-brook quality must be in the spirit, the conception. I have always been shy of the sonnet, because it so rarely flows; it is labored; it is arbitrary, with sentences cut in the middle and gasping out a feeble rhyme. But the sonnets of at least one of our younger poets· author of "The Fields of Dawn" - actually flow, and one can read them without any mental contortion, as of course he can the great sonnets of Shakespeare and Milton and Wordsworth.
One of our young Southern poets has written many Nature poems that are based on real love and observation, and that abound in striking and beautiful lines, but his form is involved and difficult, and I have not been able to find in his numerous volumes one whole poem that I could take.
The standard New England poets are not more largely represented in my collection, because
of copyright restrictions. A few of our minor poets are also absent for the same reason.
I am indebted to Houghton, Mifflin & Company for special permission to use such poems as I have selected from the works of Longfellow, Emerson, Lowell, Whittier, Holmes, Bret Harte, Frank Bolles, Aldrich, Celia Thaxter, Thoreau, Miss Thomas, Trowbridge, Edgar Fawcett, Maurice Thompson, Samuel Longfellow, Helen Gray Cone, E. C. Stedman, Frank D. Sherman, Mary Clemmer Ames, Anna Boynton Averill, Dinah Maria Mulock Craik, Wilson Flagg, William Dean Howells, Charles Kingsley, Lucy Larcom, George Parsons Lathrop, Lloyd Mifflin, James Montgomery, Nora Perry, Charles G. D. Roberts, Henry Timrod, Jones Very, and A.West.
I am also indebted to D. Appleton & Company for five of the poems of Bryant; to the Century Company for four poems from Richard Watson Gilder's "Five Books of Song," and two poems by Robert Underwood Johnson; to Robert Clark Company for poems by William D. Gallagher; to Henry Holt & Company for the poem by Robert Kelley Weeks; to Lee & Shepard for the poem by David Atwood Wasson; to 7. B. Lippincott Company for Harrison Smith Morris's poem "The Lonely Bird" from "Madonna and other Poems," and for the selection entitled "The Closing Scene" from Thomas Buchanan Read's Poems; to Longmans, Green & Company for the
poem by Andrew Lang, and Poems by Sarah Piatt; to David McKay for seven poems from Walt Whitman's "Leaves of Grass"; to Small, Maynard & Company for two selections from Bliss Carman's "Songs from Vagabondia," and two from "Poems, by John B. Tabb"; to A. M. Robertson for the poem by Charles Keeler; to R. H. Russell for poems by Robert Burns Wilson; to Charles Scribner's Sons for poems by Henry van Dyke.
My thanks are further due to Miss Cornelia Holroyd Bradley for permission to use the poem by her mother, Mrs. Mary Emily Bradley; to Rollin H. Cooke for permission to reprint the poem by Rose Terry Cooke; to Charlton H. Royal, executor of the estate of Thomas MacKellar, for allowing the reprint of "The Troublesome Fly"; to Mrs. Florence Laighton for permission to use the poem by Albert Laighton; to Annabel Irvine Brown for permission to use the poems of her father, J. P. Irvine, and to the following authors for the use of their poems: Henry Abbey, Mrs. Elizabeth Akers Allen, Joel Benton, Myron B. Benton, Mrs. Darmesteter, Charles DeKay, Mary Isabella Forsyth, Hamlin Garland, Harriet McEwen Kimball, George Murray, Mrs. Sara L. Oberholtzer, Charles Warren Stoddard, and Mrs. Nelly Hart Woodworth.