A Fable for Critics by James Russell Lowell
James Russell Lowell’s “A Fable for Critics” (1848) is a funny introduction to many of the nineteenth-century poets and writers. Since the entire poem is very long — it’s really a whole book — we have divided it up into sections , which are linked below.
Look for the famous author you’d like to read about, then click on the appropriate section to jump directly to the material about that writer.
A Fable for Critics: A Glance at a Few of Our Literary Progenies
by James Russell Lowell
Emerson to Bryant (Emerson, Carlyle, Alcott, Bryant)
Whittier to Cooper (Whittier, Dana, Hawthorne, Cooper)
Poe to Lowell (Poe, Irving, Holmes, Lowell)
After you have read a bit of the poem, you might want to read Edgar Allen Poe’s review of A Fable for Critics. One line will give you an idea of his opinion: “We laugh not so much at the author’s victims as at himself for letting them put him in such a passion.”
You may find some other interesting information about this poem at its Wikipedia page.
Read the James Russell Lowell biography from the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica