Leonard, William Ellery

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Leonard, William Ellery,

1876–1944, American poet, b. Plainfield, N.J., grad. Boston Univ., 1899, Ph.D. Columbia, 1904. For many years he was professor of English at the Univ. of Wisconsin. Of his numerous volumes of poetry the most famous is Two Lives (1922), a sonnet sequence relating the tragic story of his first marriage, which ended in his young wife's suicide. His psychological autobiography, The Locomotive God (1927), describes his distance phobia. Leonard wrote many scholarly works, notably translations of Beowulf and of the writings of Lucretius.
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William Ellery Leonard was an eccentric poet and professor and critic who produced poems based on his life experiences and whose translations of Lucretius and Beowulf became accepted classics of literature: it's fitting that a biography of his life and works should incorporate the influences that molded his literary expertise.