animals in romantic poetry
Many Romantic poets expressed a fascination with nature in their works. Even more specific than just nature, many poets, such as William Blake, Robert Burns, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge all seemed fascinated with animals. Animals are used as symbols throughout poetry, and are also used to give the reader something to which they can relate. No matter what the purpose, however, animals played a major part in Romantic Poetry.
William Blake used animals as basic building blocks for poems such as “The Lamb” and “The Tyger.” By using these carefully selected animals to depict good and evil, the reader truly understands Blake’s words. All readers can relate to animals such as an innocent lamb and a ferocious tiger. Blake spends most of each of these poems carefully describing each animal, and how it relates to the condition of the world through his own eyes. Without the use of these animals, each of these poems would lose their effect and universality, not to mention their titles.
In his poem, “To a Mouse,” Robert Burns expresses his compassion for the small family of rodents whose home is overturned by a plow. Not only does Burns show an equal democracy for all creatures in this piece, but he actually lifts up the mouse above man in lines 43 and 44: “Still thou are blest compared wi’ me! / The present only toucheth thee.” With these lines, Burns shows that the mouse can only see in the present, and therefore does not try to guess and fear the future (48). Burns also expressed his fascination with animals in “To a Louse,” a poem based upon seeing a one on a lady’s bonnet at church. The sight of this louse surprises the narrator, and...