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            During the nineteenth century there was a literary transformation going on in America that changed many writers" approach and mind-set to writing. This transformation was known as know as Romanticism. William Cullen Bryant, Washington Irving, James Fenimore Copper and Edgar Allen Poe were major contributors to the Romantic Movement. Most of the romantic writings included emotions, imagination and "reveled in nature." (220) One poet and poem that applies not only nature, but life and death to emphasize its message, is William Cullen Bryant and his renowned poem "Thanotopsis".
             A theme that is used in nearly every literary piece is nature, which Romantic poets utilize to convey their overall message to their readers. Bryant is one of the first and most significant poets in America literature. He helps get the ball rolling for the Romantic period while acting as a standard for many aspiring poets for years to come. In his poem "Thanotopsis" Bryant writes about death, and how society should not fear it but rather embrace it. He refers to nature as a woman who seems more beautiful and perceptible when you are near your time. "To him who in the love of Nature holds communion with her visible forms, she speaks a various language; for his gayer hours she has a voice of gladness, and a smile and eloquence of beauty."(1-4) Bryant describes the after world as place similar to nature that you "lie down with patriarchs of the infant world - with kings, the hills rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun- the vales stretching in pensive quietness between, the venerable woods rivers that move, in majesty, and the meadows green; and poured and all."(32-42) And though you have died and left this world, you still have an afterworld to look forward to, accentuating the romantic principle of man searching for a better world.

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