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Home > American Literature > Unit 3 > Part 1: Romanticism and Transcendentalism
Return to book index Unit 3 : The Spirit of Individualism (18001855)
Part 1: Romanticism and Transcendentalism

Part 1

Celebrations of the Self

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

A Psalm of Life
The purpose of life expressed in rhyme and meter

Washington Irving

The Devil and Tom Walker
A tempting proposition

Ralph Waldo Emerson

from Self Reliance
Wise words from an American philosopher

Margaret Fuller

from Memoirs
Nothing but the truth will do.

Henry David Thoreau

from Civil Disobedience
The power of the individual conscience

Mohandas K. Gandhi

On Civil Disobedience
A 20th-century leader echoes Thoreau.

Henry David Thoreau

from Walden
A famous nonconformist's experiment in simple living

Walt Whitman

Selected Poems

I Hear America Singing

I Sit and Look Out

from Song of Myself
An American original

Pablo Neruda

Ode to Walt Whitman
A celebration of Whitman's legacy

William Carlos Williams

Dance Russe
A "happy genius" has some fun.

e.e. cummings

anyone lived in a pretty how town
An unusual telling of a love story

Aurora Levins Morales and Rosario Morales

Ending Poem
Separate voices unite in one poem.

Luis J. Rodriguez

Tía Chucha
How would you feel if Tía Chucha were your aunt?

Garrison Keillor

Gary Keillor
Share the last laugh with the author.