Embrace the holiday season with a festival of verse, commentary, and song. We’re presenting highlights from “Passion for Poetry: The importance of verse-making to nineteenth-century America and Mary Baker Eddy.” This 2007 Library program explored how and why poetry was such an important influence on American culture during Mary Baker Eddy’s lifetime, and the significance it held for her. In addition to Eddy, poets featured and discussed in the program included Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, and Emily Dickinson.

“Passion for Poetry” was part of the Library program series Arts and Sciences in Nineteenth-Century America: The Cultural and Intellectual World of Mary Baker Eddy. Exploring important intellectual and cultural pursuits in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century America, it showed how Eddy’s life and work engaged with those dynamic movements. From the influence of song and poetry on thought and culture to the development of new paradigms for science and philosophy, this series brought to life a time of vital self-expression and intense exploration of new ideas.

Listen to the full recording of the original program here.

Podcast guests

Participants in the program included Marian Carlson, co-author of American Genius: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (2006) and co-chair of the 2007 Longfellow Bicentennial; Angela Sorby, Professor of English at Marquette University and author of Schoolroom Poets: Childhood, Performance, and the Place of American Poetry, 1865–1917 (2005); Paul Williams, past president of the Thoreau Society and Professor Emeritus of English at Principia College; and Library staff members Jonathon Eder and Aliza Saivetz.

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