Fireside Poets Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

How did the Fireside Poets influence American literature?  

Expert Answers info

Olen Bruce eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write4,269 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The Fireside Poets, a group that included Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, John Greenleaf Whittier, and other New England poets, popularized American forms of poetry. Writing in the 19th century, they produced works that made American literature even more popular than British literature in the early United States. They wrote for the common person, rather than for the literary classes, and used standard poetic forms and rhymes that made memorization and recitation of their works easy. As a result, many of their poems were used in the classroom, causing them to also be called "the schoolroom poets." For example, children used to have to memorize poems such as "Paul Revere's Ride" by Longfellow. In addition, many of the poets, such as Whittier and Longfellow, were abolitionists and used their journalistic and poetic works to speak out against slavery. An example is "The Slave's Dream" by Longfellow.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial