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'how Events In The Life Of Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning Influenced Her Changing Literary Style'

1650 words - 7 pages

The main ideas of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's poetic works changed constantly during her life,due to significant events which occured.Spirituality was the main focus of Barrett's writing from 1838 until 1844. Poetry became such alarge part of her life due to a spinal injury in 1821 which left her relying on opium for a long period oftime. As well as the ill-manners of her health, Barrett experienced the tragic death of her brother due todrowning in the year of 1838. These significant events left Barrett in a state of emotional turmoil. Shefound herself unable to live in the world of reality. For four years, she seperated herself from reality bylocking herself in a bedroom. During this time, the only persons she conversed with was her family andone or two close friends.It was during this period that poetry became such a signifacant part of Barrett's life. She beganto write about Jesus, Angels, and other significant biblical characters. In the poem The Seraphim, twoangels stand outside the Garden of Eden. It is there they describe and praise God for his awesomesplendor and majesty."Of earth, the God-created and God praisedIn hour of birthWhere everynight the moon in lightDoth lead waters silver faced?Where every day the sun doth layA rapture to the heart of allThe leafy and reeded pastoral,As if the joyous shout which burstFrom angel lips to see him first,Had left a silent echo in his ray?" (The Seraphim, 1838)The poem is a deep reflection of what Barrett feels inside at this time in her life. She is depressed,lonely and full of agony because of all the aweful things which are happening, so she turns to spirituality.She looks to God for renewal and strength, expressing his awesomeness in her poems, as she doeshere when describing the Holy God. Another poem written during the time of despair is titled The VirginMary to the Child Jesus. The poem is a stanza of the Virgin Mary speaking to her baby child, Jesus.She is blessing him and praising him for greatness. She speaks of him as having a perfect name, as wellas celestial wings and head. She speaks of him as being so holy that she can hardly contain herself."Sleep, sleep my Holy One!My flesh, my Lord! - what name? I do not knowA name that seemeth not too high or low,too far from me or heaven;My Jesus, that is best! That word be givenBy the majestic angel whose commandwas softly as a man's beseeching said,When I and all the earth appeared to stand.In the great overflowof light celestial from wings and headSleep, sleep my saving one!" (The Virgin Mary to the Child Jesus, 1838)Within this poem, it is revealed once again that Elizabeth had a deep influence of spirituality at the timein her life, specifically of Christianity which is shown here. Did God come to her when she was locked upin her room? It seems as if she has an overflowing amount of words to speak of spirituality. It's almostas if she's posessed by the spirit. As well as having vast knowledge of the Holy Bible at the time,Browning also...

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