The Heritage Collection: America in Portrait (1989)

Genres - Language & Literature  |   Run Time - 45 min.  |  
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Synopsis by Rose of Sharon Winter

This teaching film, aimed at students in grades four through 12, presents an overview of some of America's best-known poets and their works. The film examines influential forces and events that shaped the writers' lives and how they in turn have shaped America's literary heritage. The artists featured include Edgar Allan Poe, whose success as a short story writer and poet contrasted sharply with his tragic personal life; Carl Sandburg, whose free verse and compassion for the working class changed the course of American poetry; American poet laureate and Pulitzer Prize-winner Robert Frost, the Californian who made a career extolling the virtues of New England; jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes, whose conversational style and patriotic themes, as in Old Ironsides, made him famous; Langston Hughes, the Harlem Renaissance poet who evocatively portrayed the life of black Americans; and Edgar Lee Masters, a leading figure in the Chicago Renaissance movement, remembered for his Spoon River Anthology. Selected works are read in the film.



literary, performer, poetry, reading [recitation], storyteller