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Edward Taylor

Taylor, Edward, c.1642–1729, American poet and clergyman, b. England, considered America's foremost colonial poet. He emigrated to America in 1668 and graduated from Harvard in 1671. From then until his death, he served as Congregational minister for Westfield, Mass. An ardent Puritan, Taylor agreed completely with the Calvinistic beliefs of his time. His best poems, "God's Determinations" and "Preparatory Meditations," show a strong similarity to the English devotional metaphysical poets. Since he did not publish his poems in his lifetime, his poetry remained in manuscript until 1937. In 1939, T. H. Johnson published a selection of his poems. The best edition of Taylor's works was edited by D. E. Stanford in 1960.

See studies by N. S. Grabo (1962), D. Stanford (1965), and W. J. Scheik (1974).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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