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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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3. Utopian Promise   

9. Social

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•  Using the Video
•  Authors
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•  Activities
- Overview Questions
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Activities: Author Activities

Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt - Author Questions

Back Back to Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt Activities
  1. Comprehension: Who are the characters in "The Palace-Burner"? Who is speaking? What is the "picture in the newspaper" mentioned in the subtitle? Context: How does the speaker in "A Pique at Parting" critique romantic conventions? How does her analysis of the power struggle between men and women compare to Lydia's experience in Edith Wharton's "Souls Belated"?

  2. Context: Examine the picture of Arlington National Cemetery featured in the archive. How does it compare to Piatt's description of it in "Army of Occupation"? Why is Arlington such a powerful place for her?

  3. Exploration: Why do you think Piatt was largely ignored by literary critics until recently? Why do you think feminist critics find her appealing now? How do Piatt's poems relate to the sentimental tradition within which many nineteenth-century women wrote? How do her poems anticipate the work of later American women poets, like Amy Lowell or H.D.? How do poems like Lowell's "The Captured Goddess" or H.D.'s "Helen" compare to Piatt's attempts to challenge traditional representations of women? How do later poets like Lowell and H.D. continue to wrestle with one of the problems that concerned Piatt--how to be a woman poet within a culture where women were perceived more as subjects for poetry than as writers of it?

  4. Exploration: Why do you think Piatt is included in this unit on social realism? In what way might her poetry be understood as "realist"?

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