Virginia Lucas Poetry Scrapbook

Biography of Hannah F. Gould

      Hannah F. Gould was a New Englander all her life; she was born in Lancaster, Massachusetts in 1789, then moved to Newburyport in 1808. Gould lived a family centered life that was disrupted when her mother died when Hannah was still a child. Hannah spent the majority of her time tending to the house and her father (Gray). As she started to write poetry her friends began to notice the talent Hannah possessed. With that new piece of information, her friends decided to publish Hannah’s poems without her consent (Poetry Foundation). Although this may not have been the best way to publish the poems it got Hannah recognized and heavily admired for the wide range of subjects in her poetry. The collection of poems covers the topics of history, religion, war, and love, but while she discusses these topics she specifically pays attention to the small things that these larger topics are based off of. (Baltimore Literary Monument 72). Gould’s ability to transform these small pieces into beautiful poetry earned her admiration and recognition (Gray).  Gould’s ability to focus on the small occurrences of life lends itself to creating a charming and relatable subject of poetry. She is able to use these small things and create a “scope of imagination… around simple themes and imagery of peculiar beauty” (Baltimore Literary Monument 72). Another trait many people found quite interesting and appeasing about Gould was her “rarer quality…wit” (Gray).  The Baltimore Literary Monument discusses the rarity of this characteristic in female writers and the way this woman writer used “it with great delicacy, and always to teach or enforce some lesson.” One last thing discussed about Gould’s reading is her ability to connect with children through her poetry. She wrote about things that they could relate to, which in turn charmed the minds of so many adolescents (Baltimore Literary Monument 72).
      Although Hannah F. Gould is not acknowledged as much as some nineteenth century poets are today, she was well known and much admired by her peers in the 19th century. She was discussed in the Washington Post, a newspaper very popular during her lifetime, which called her one of the “Women of Genius”. In this article she is compared to Elizabeth Oakes, a very influential poet during this time period.  Overall, Gould may not be remembered like Emily Dickinson, but her poetry made a large impact on audiences in the 1800’s. For this reason we must not find her irrelevant, but rather a breath of fresh air and a rediscovered amazing woman poet. 

    Link to "A Name in The Sand" by Hannah F. Gould page

Work Cited