1816 in poetry

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List of years in poetry (table)
In literature

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  • This year is known as the "Year Without a Summer" after Mount Tambora had erupted in the Dutch East Indies the previous year and cast enough ash into the atmosphere to block out the sun and cause abnormal weather across much of Northern Europe and the Northeastern United States. This pall of darkness inspires Byron to write his poem "Darkness" in July.
  • Lord Byron separates from his wife and in April leaves England to tour continental Europe (never returning), settling in the summer in Switzerland, at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva; in late May he meets, and soon becomes friends with, the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Shelley's wife-to-be Mary Godwin. Regular conversation with Byron has an invigorating effect on Shelley's poetry. While on a boating tour the two take together, Shelley is inspired to write his Hymn to Intellectual Beauty. Shelley, in turn, influences Byron's poetry. This new influence shows itself in the third part of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, which Byron is working on, as well as in Manfred, which he writes in the autumn of this year.
  • In late August Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin return to England from Switzerland, taking with them some of Byron's manuscripts for his publisher.
  • Shelley is introduced to John Keats in Hampstead towards the end of the year by their mutual friend, Leigh Hunt, who is to transfer his enthusiasm from Keats to Shelley.
  • December 30 — Shelley marries his mistress Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin in London following the suicides on October 9 of her half-sister, Fanny Imlay (by laudanum in Swansea), and on December 10 of his pregnant estranged first wife, Harriet (by drowning in The Serpentine).

Works published[edit]

United Kingdom[edit]

Draft of "Kubla Khan" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge: written 1797; first published 1816

United States[edit]

  • Joseph Rodman Drake, "The Culprit Fay", a 600-line poem about a fairy who falls in love with a mortal maiden in the Hudson Valley; republished in 1835 in The Culprit Fay and Other Poems[3]
  • John Neal, The Portico. Volume III, Baltimore: Neale Wills & Cole[4]
  • John Pierpont, The Airs of Palestine, a popular long poem which quickly went through three editions; traces the influence of music on Jewish history[5] and praises sacred music; written while the author was a Baltimore shopkeeper, the popular poem gains him a reputation as one of the best American poets of his time[3]
  • Lydia Sigourney, using the pen name "Lydia Huntley", Moral pieces, in Prose and Verse, Hartford, Connecticut: Sheldon & Goodwin[4]
  • Alexander Wilson, Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, poems and a biographical essay on the author's life, posthumously published[3]
Richard Brinsley Sheridan dies this year aged 64


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


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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Cox, Michael, ed. (2004). The Concise Oxford Chronology of English Literature. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860634-6. 
  2. ^ Wu, Duncan, Romanticism: An Anthology, p 528, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers Inc., 1994, ISBN 0-631-19196-8
  3. ^ a b c 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
  4. ^ a b c Web page titled "American Poetry Full-Text Database / Bibliography" at University of Chicago Library website, retrieved March 4, 2009
  5. ^ Carruth, Gorton, The Encyclopedia of American Facts and Dates, ninth edition, HarperCollins, 1993