1746 in poetry

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List of years in poetry (table)
In literature

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  • Lucy Terry writes the first known poem by an African American, "Bars Fight, August 28, 1746", about an Indian massacre of two white families in Deerfield, Massachusetts; the ballad was related orally for a century and first printed in 1855; English Colonial America[1]
  • May 9 - Voltaire, on being admitted into the French Academy, gives a discours de réception in which he criticizes Boileau's poetry. In England, Voltaire's speech is quoted in The Gentleman's Magazine in July and the full text is translated into English in Dodsley's Museum for December 20.[2]

Works published[edit]

Akenside's "Balance of Poets"[edit]

In Dodsley's Museum of September 13, a literary periodical, Mark Akenside publishes two lists of personages: One, "The Temple of Modern Fame, A Vision", a list of the 24 most famous men of modern times, ranked in order of fame and including monarchs, scientists, priests, philosophers and men of letters. French poet and critic Boileau is ranked 20th, beneath Tasso and Ariosto but above Francis Bacon, John Milton Cervantes and Molière. (William Shakespeare, Dante, Cornielle and Racine aren't on the list at all).)[2] In some accompanying prose, Akenside wrote:

At the next trumpet, the tutelary of France went out with the assured air that was natural to her, and brought in a tall, slender man in a large wig, with a very fine sneer upon his face. She said his name was Boileau and that nobody could pretend to dispute that place with him. However, the stately genius of England opposed her; her remonstrances prevailed, and Pope took the place which Boileau thought belonged to him.

The second list, "The Balance of Poets", is a table, giving 20 modern and 20 ancient poets marks of up to 20 points in each of the following categories: Critical Ordonnance, Pathetic Ordonnance, Dramatic Ordonnance, Incidental Expression, Taste, Colouring, Versification, Moral, and Final Estimate. Boileau's "Final Estimate" rating is 12, the same as Euripides and Tasso, better than Lucretius and Terence (who both get 10), Ariosto, Dante, Horace, Pindar, Alexander Pope, Racine and Sophocles each get 13. "Perhaps neither of these curiosities of criticism is to be taken very seriously", wrote Alexander Clark, an early 20th-century literary historian.[2] (See also, Oliver Goldsmith's "poetical scale" of 1758.)


Death years link to the corresponding "[year] in poetry" article:


Birth years link to the corresponding "[year] in poetry" article:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Burt, Daniel S., The Chronology of American Literature: : America's literary achievements from the colonial era to modern times, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2004, ISBN 978-0-618-16821-7, retrieved via Google Books
  2. ^ a b c Clark, Alexander Frederick Bruce, Boileau and the French Classical Critics in England (1660-1830), pp 40, 43, Franklin, Burt, 1971, ISBN 978-0-8337-4046-5, retrieved via Google Books on February 13, 2010
  3. ^ a b c d e f Cox, Michael, editor, The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature, Oxford University Press, 2004, ISBN 0-19-860634-6
  4. ^ University of Oregon website, "Renascence Editions" Web page titled "Odes on Several Descriptive and Allegoric Subjects. (1746, dated 1747) William Collins.", retrieved July 26, 2009. Archived 2009-07-29.