Henry Abbey

(11 July 1842 - 7 June 1911 / Kingston, NY)

Henry Abbey
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Henry Abbey was an American poet who is best remembered for the poem, What do we plant when we plant a tree? He is also known for The Bedouin's Rebuke.

Style

In much of his work, Abbey displays traditional characteristics of the nineteenth century American poetic approach. He uses inversions and has fluid feel; his style takes notable influence from that of English poet James Henry Leigh Hunt. The Bedouin's Rebuke can be compared to Hunt's Abou Ben Adhem, which employs similar metric flow. Abbey was fond of simple subject matter, such as remorse or happiness; his poetry often forms an anecdote or short story which builds in intensity, reaches a climactic struggle ... more »

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Best Poem of Henry Abbey

Low Tide

Along the cliff I walk in silence,
While over the blue of the waves below,
The white birds gleam in the sun like silver
And ships in the offing come and go,
And the tide is low.

Oh! it was here that in golden weather,
Under the cliff and close to the sea,
A pledge was given that made me master
Of all that ever was dear to me;
And the tide was low.

Only a little year fled after;
Wedded we came to our tryst once more,
And saw the deep, like a bird imprisoned
Beating its wings at its bars, the shore;
And the tide was low.

Now I walk ...

Read the full of Low Tide

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