During James Edwin Campbell's life, the US was in a period of building population, states, and expanding westward while dealing with reconstruction issues post-Civil War.
Song is the reason I chose to discuss "Mors et Vita" because many of James Edwin Campbell's poems could be sung and are full of joy. It is the reason he was very popular, because if you can sing a poem, it can be used to entertain. In the growing Midwest, entertainment was much appreciated as the distances can be far between households.
His use of rhyme is inconsistent and appears in different lines, but the listener can perceive the rhyme as it is read. The rhythm combined with the rhyme makes it like a song.
What I like about James Edwin Campbell's story is his apparent education, success, broad appeal and happiness. His poem "A Memory Tone" could be about meeting his wife.
Writing Assignment: Write a Poem with Two Stanzas of Five Lines that refer to different objects in each line, the second poem using the objects in a different manner. Make it a rhyming poem. How does it feel to read this poem?