||Original. Presented in a 20" x 30" acid free archival museum mat.
This powerfulimage is created by artist Dan Smith for Edwin Markham's The Great Poem, The Muse of Brotherhood. Pictured an everyman is shakled, nude, and forlorn with his back turned from the viewer. His head leans upon the knee of a great muse, an angel, who himself reflects man's anguish. The muse's wings act as a sheild for mankind, and a star above the muse's head conveys the thought of a new form of a halo.
Edwin Markham's most famous poem was first presented at a public poetry reading in 1898. He read "The Man With the Hoe," which accented laborers' hardships. His main inspiration was a French painting of the same name (in French, L'homme à la houe) by Jean-François Millet. Markham's poem was published, and it became quite popular very soon. In New York, he gave many lectures to labor groups. These happened as often as his poetry readings.
As recounted by literary biographer William R. Nash, "'['b]etween publications, Markham lectured and wrote in other genres, including essays and nonfiction prose. He also gave much of his time to organizations such as the Poetry Society of America, which he established in 1910. Throughout Markham's later life, many readers viewed him as an important voice in American poetry, a position signified by honors such as his election in 1908 to the National Institute of Arts and Letters. Despite his numerous accolades, however, none of his later books achieved the success of the first two.