William Ellery Channing

William Ellery Channing

About William Ellery Channing

William Ellery Channing was an american transcendentalist poet. He published his first volume of poems, reprinting several from The Dial. Thoreau called his literary style 'sublimo-slipshod'. The printing of a compilation of these poems was subsidized by Samuel Gray Ward. Channing was thought brilliant but undisciplined by many of his contemporaries. Amos Bronson Alcott famously said of him in 1871, 'Whim, thy name is Channing.' Nevertheless, the Transcendentalists thought his poetry among the best of their group's literary products. In 1873, Channing was the first biographer of Thoreau, publishing Thoreau, the Poet-Naturalist. Edgar Allan Poe was particularly harsh in reviewing Channing's poetry in a series of articles titled 'Our Amateur Poets' published in Graham's Magazine in 1843. He wrote, 'It may be said in his favor that nobody ever heard of him. Like an honest woman, he has always succeeded in keeping himself from being made the subject of gossip'.
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