Cyrus Hamlin
{ "" }
Share Cyrus's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
HAMLIN, CYRUS Cyrus Hamlin, Professor Emeritus of German and Comparative Literature at Yale University, died peacefully in New Haven on January 19th, 2011, after several years of declining health. Born in New Haven, he was a graduate of Philips Exeter Academy. A year in Germany as an exchange student at Schule Schloss Salem was an experience he described as changing his life. He graduated B.A. at Harvard in 1958, and Ph.D. at Yale in 1963. His teachers included I.A. Richards, Cleanth Brooks, William Wimsatt, and Ren Wellek. He was Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto from 1970 to 1983. As Chairman of the university's fledgling Graduate Program in Comparative Literature he was responsible for arranging guest lectures by many of the century's greatest literary theorists, including Hans Georg Gadamer, Wolfgang Iser, Hans Robert Jauss, Tzvetan Todorov, and Paul Ricoeur. He co-founded the undergraduate Program in Literary Studies. At Yale, he served as Chair of the Departments of both German and Comparative Literature, and was a devoted teacher in the Directed Studies Program, which he led for several years. He also served as Chair of Theater Studies, and as President of the Elizabethan Club and of the Manuscript Society. A lifelong champion of comparative and interdisciplinary study, he particularly relished team teaching with senior colleagues in Religion, Philosophy, and Music. A particular pleasure was co-teaching Shakespeare at Toronto with Northrop Frye. He was Visiting Professor at Boston University, Oxford, Harvard, the Universities of California (San Diego), Bologna, Jena, Tbingen, and the Free University in Berlin. He was honored to be invited to lecture in Heidelberg on the 800th anniversary of the city. His published work focused on the poetry of Friedrich Hlderlin, on Goethe's Faust, and on the poetics of European Romanticism. He was general editor of the Suhrkamp edition of Goethe in English in 12 volumes and the editor with commentary of the Norton Critical Edition of Goethe's Faust. His essays on the poetics of Romanticism were collected in Hermeneutics of Form, and most recently he co-edited Symbolic Forms and Cultural Studies: Ernst Cassirer's Theory of Culture. A passionate Wagnerian, he also wrote and lectured widely on Wagner's operas. He leaves his wife of 52 years, Rosamond Greeley Hamlin, his children Hannibal and wife Cori Martin, of Columbus, OH, Sarah, of West Hartford, CT, Charles, of New Haven, and two adored grandchildren, Sophie and Cyrus. He also leaves his brother, Dr. Charles Hamlin and wife Linda, of Denver, CO, and his sister Ellen Hamlin Reynolds, of Manchester, NH. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 19, at 1:00 pm at Battell Chapel, Yale University. A reception will follow, hosted by Jonathan Edwards College, where he was a devoted fellow for many years. A private committal service will be held next summer in Maine, where he spent many family summers, and which he considered his spiritual home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Somesville Library, P.O. Box 280, Mount Desert, ME, or the Mt. Desert Nursing Association, P.O. Box 397, 12 Summit Rd., Northeast Harbor, ME, 04662.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in New Haven Register from Jan. 22 to Jan. 23, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
6 entries
January 16, 2021
A few days ago we spoke about ther Childrens Bools Cyrus snet to our daughters. He was so kind to children whom he couls anderstand so well. His warm , feeling inspired ,his lifely imagination which in turn became part of his masterly capability for explaining the structure and the power of great poetry. I am missing him as friend, and Amerika haas so good reasons for missing his spirit in the profil of her present appearece in politics.
dieter Henrich
April 29, 2011
Dear Mrs. Hamlin
by accident I learnt in the Net of your husband's death. I am deeply moved by the memories of our encouters and joint activities. We shared the adnmiration and love for Hoelderlin's work and could have endless exchanges on it. I learnt a lot from him on anglosaxon poetry. When I was at Yale in the eighties he, among much more, gave me books for my by that time very young daughters which shaped their image of America. Unfortunatly we lost contact since then. Not only they, and myself, also Germany ows him a great deal. The depth and the playfulnesy of his mind made him an impresive ambassodor of America for both, children and scholars.
I shall tell my daughters of him and of his death.
With my profound participation in your mourning
Dieterv Henrich
Henrich Dieter
March 19, 2011
Dear Mrs. Hamlin, less than a week ago ILooked for Cyrus' address for an invitation to my husband's memorial service. I was shocked, stunned an deeply saddened, knowing that Walter greatly respected and admired him as a great scholar, kind, and gentle man. He loved working with him on Goethe's Faust , and some day I hope to meet you and tell you about the two's serendipitous meeting in N.Y. in the fifties.
My heart goes out to you,-we had just celebrated our 66th wedding anniversary-and I hope that you can deal with this new identity better than I can. My deepest sympathy for your huge loss. Miriam Arndt
February 5, 2011
A kind, gentle and thoughtful man, we were good friends and co-singers on the Peadquaks at the Phillips Exeter Academy. I mour Cy's passing. David Falk, Exeter '54; Harvard '58.
David Falk
January 24, 2011
Dear Charlie, What a dynamic, wonderful man! Thank you for sharing his life with me. He is at peace now Love, Dan
H. Dan Adams
January 23, 2011
Dear Sarah, Joe joins me in extending to you and your family our deepest sympathies for your great loss.

Ann S. Tonetti
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences