Progress report... Today I received from the incomparable NYPL images of John C. Hoadley's manuscript poem "Destiny" in the
Gansevoort-Lansing Collection. Manuscripts and Archives Division. The New York Public Library. Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundation.
Fortunately the handwriting is crystal clear and will be much easier to transcribe than Hoadley's honeymoon letter from Niagara Falls to Augusta Melville. Hoadley failed to get it published, but not for lack of neatness. Length, verse form, and content all match Evert Duyckinck's description of the patriotic poem that Herman Melville read aloud, with gusto, in August 1851.
- "stout" in manuscript indicating many hundreds of lines? Check, 648 lines of verse.
- composed in heroic measure, meaning "sounding lines" of mostly iambic pentameter? Check. In rhymed couplets, as guessed on Melvilliana.
- glorification of the United States with polite slanging at other countries? Check and check!
Hmmm. Only a sentence but I will ask for permission before giving it. Stay tuned!
- Refresher on heroic measure
- Destiny: a poem by John C Hoadley 648 lines plus endnotes, transcribed here