The Chambered Nautilus Criticism

Oliver Wendell Holmes
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“The Chambered Nautilus” has been popular and critically acclaimed since its publication in Holmes's prose work The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table. It is one of Holmes's most famous poems and one of the most popular poems about a sea creature in American literature. The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table, in general, was an immediate success. Rowland E. Prothero writes in the Quarterly Review (1895) that it is by this work that “the name of Holmes will live.” Prothero goes on to state that “The Chambered Nautilus” is one “of the best representatives of [Holmes's] poetic gifts.” John Macy notes in The Spirit of American Literature that it is “Holmes's most ambitious poem, the one which he was most eager to have remembered as poetry.” Macy, however, finds the poem “an elaborate conceit, pretty but not moving,” and favors other examples of Holmes's verse.

Holmes has lost much of...

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This section contains 281 words
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Buy The Chambered Nautilus Study Guide
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