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Poetry in Dutchess County

Holly Wahlberg

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ISBN 10: 0944733034 / ISBN 13: 9780944733035
Published by Dutchess County Historical Society, 2008
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Poetry in Dutchess County

Publisher: Dutchess County Historical Society

Publication Date: 2008

Book Condition: Good

About this title


Poetry in Dutchess County evokes a time in American history when ordinary people commonly encountered poems in daily newspapers and popular magazines. Citizens listened attentively to commemorative poems at almost every important civic occasion. School children routinely memorized significant amounts of poetry, and many families read aloud nightly from a well-thumbed Home Book of Verse. Well into the 20th century, poetry acted as a common bond in an increasingly diverse America and satisfied a need for inspiration, pleasure and guidance in everyday life.

In 19th century Dutchess County, poetry was used to commemorate events, celebrations and institutions, and inspired the names of some of the county's most treasured landmarks. For both Dutchess County immigrants and expatriates, poetry often preserved touchstones of youth and home, while the area's thriving college population produced some of the county's most joyful verse. Dutchess County's well-known natural beauty also provided a continuous source of the deepest poetic sentiments.

In the 20th century, grief and patriotism found their way into Dutchess County poetry of the World War I era followed by the next generation's awareness that poetry had a significant place in the lives of Dutchess County residents, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt. By the 1960s and 70s, poets and poetry readers had found a friend in the publisher of Dutchess County's most eclectic newspaper, The Barrytown Explorer. Here, as in the 19th century, ordinary people could once again read poems in their local newspaper and find courage, humor and solace in a shared poetic experience.

Poetry has served as a companion and guide to Dutchess County residents for generations and continues to provide opportunities for insight into both the social and cultural history of the Hudson Valley and the nation.

About the Author:

Historian and writer Holly Wahlberg is a graduate of Boston University, Columbia University and the Sotheby's of London Design Education Program. Currently, she lives in the City of Poughkeepsie where she has been active in a number of preservation and history awareness projects.

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