1850s America was the lead up to the Civil War. 1850s France was the 1848 Revolution and the Second French Empire, which lasted until 1871, giving relative stability after 30 years of changing power. Both geographies were going through a shake up and the poets Whitman and Baudelaire got all inventive with form in the middle of it. Are we in a shake up right now? If so, what radical poetic form will come from it? Meh, maybe nothing. Maybe I'm wrong with for some reason feeling that time and now "feel" the same. We'll see.