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An American Poet The introduction to Stephen Vincent Bent from the Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism states He conveyed his faith in the enduring existence of Americas fundamental ideals the virtues of the democratic system of government the possibility of a common spirit unifying a diverse populus and most importantly the value of the individual TCLC 68 Stephen Vincent Bent was an American poet whose works were a combination of romanticism idealized optimistic view of life and realism factual objective details of ordinary life Bent was an author who had a profound love and vast knowledge of his homeland Bent Stephen Vincent b July 22 1898 Bethlehem Pa US - d March 13 1943 New York NY American poet novelist and writer of short stories best known for John Browns Body a long narrative poem on the American Civil War Fenton Born into a military family Stephen was raised on military posts by his father Colonel James Bent His father read poetry aloud to Stephen an older brother William Rose and a sister Laura all of whom became writers Fenton Stephen was 17 a student at Yale University when he published his first book entitled Five Men and Pompey Fenton Civilian service during World War I interrupted his education at Yale Univerisity When the war was over he returned to Yale In 1919 he received his master of arts degree submitting his third volume of poems instead of a thesis Fenton A Guggenheim fellowship took him to France with his wife the former Rosemary Carr While there he wrote John Browns Body 1928 which won 1929 a Pulitzer Prize for poetry Hart 198 Over 300 pages the poem covers the Civil War from John Browns raid at Harpers Ferry W Va to peace at Appomattox 198 The second Pulitzer was given posthumously in 1944 for Western Star 1943 an unfinished narrative poem about movement to the American West 198 In
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