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Culprit Fay and Other Poems

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By: (1795-1820)

A collection, The Culprit Fay and Other Poems, was published posthumously by his daughter in 1835. His best-known poems are the long title-poem of that collection and the patriotic "The American Flag" which was set as a cantata for two soloists, choir and orchestra by the Czech composer Antonin Dvořák in 1892-93, as his Op. 102. In the early part of the 19th Century both Drake and his friend Halleck were widely hailed by Americans as among the leading literary personalities and talents produced by this country. That they had been leading lights in the New York area was true, but the glimmer for both could not really hold. It was finally diminished by Edgar Allan Poe when he wrote a serious study of the two poets called The Halleck - Rodman Review. Looking at The Culprit Fay by Drake, Poe showed that the imagery many marveled at was quite second-rate and ordinary. In fact, he briefly invented new lines to show how easily it could be done. The reputations of both Drake and Halleck never recovered.


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