Sonnet--to an American Painter Departing for Europe
Thine eyes shall see the light of distant skies:
This poem was written to Thomas Cole, Bryant's frequent walking companion in the Catskills and a celebrated landscape painter. Here is a painting of the two men ("Kindred Spirits" as painted by Asher Durand). Note the kind of wild American landscape which is pictured here and in his other pictures, and consider how that image of wildness (and American-ness) is woven into this poem. Since Cole is a landscape painter, the first line is even more significant. Think about how this poem is related to this kind of romantic painting (in subject matter, idea, and style).