The story of American literature: the very beginning
From the beginning America was unique in the diversity of its inhabitants arrived from all parts of the world, however (= comunque) English quickly became the official language, and regional and ethnic dialects enriched (= arricchirono) its literature.When European explorers first came to North America, Native American cultures had rich forms of oral literature passed down from generation to generation. Some of them were translated into English, but most disappeared with the destruction of Native American cultures that followed (= seguì) white settlements (= colonizzazione) of the continent. Until the 19th century American poetry took inspiration from works written in British. They were set (= avevano luogo) in a new physical environment
(= ambiente) and took into account the evolving culture of the colonies.
Puritans who settled (=si stanziarono) in New England were the first poets of the American colonies. For most of them poetry is the literary form that allowed (=permise) pious believers to express divine lessons.
According to (=secondo) the Puritan tradition, poetry was to be read mainly in family and with closest friends. Whereas public poetry was more didactic or instructive and often involved (= coinvolta) the transformation into verse of important biblical lessons that guided Puritan belief.
Sermons and other religious writings dominated literature in America in the 1600s. Histories of early America, especially in New England, were filled with (= erano piene di) references to the Bible and to God’s will