Poetry is a varied art form. Poetry is expression with words, using aesthetics and definition. Word choice in poetry is the single most important thing. Devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm work in a poem to convey a certain image or to facilitate understanding. Similes and metaphors can take two unlike objects, such as a potato and cinderblock, and if done the correct way use them to describe how Abraham Lincoln dealt with scoundrels. Poetry is beautiful. One of the best genres in poetry, let alone a great literary movement is Romanticism or the post-enlightenment Romantics.
Romanticism was a philosophical and literary movement in the middle to late seventeen hundreds. It surfaced as a reaction to the Enlightenment Ideas of the day, Romanticism favors more emotional and passionate objects, whereas the Enlightenment thinkers were focused on science, and progress politically and economically. More than all, the Enlightenment thinkers were focused on rationality. Romantics have a deep affection for irrationality, and love. Romantics use strong emotion as a source of literary inspiration. Absolute originality was treasured in Romanticism, before this idea copying past works was a crucial step in the creative process. This movement influenced and continues to influence all literary genres today. For example, the Byronic Code, penned by George Gordon Byron, also known as Lord Byron, dictates that a hero in a story must be a genius, gifted and a loner, and the story must follow him as he becomes inspired and brilliant to find the solution. This is very similar to almost all characters on modern television shows. Characters like House, The Mentalists’ Patrick Jane, and Sherlock Holmes penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle are all examples of Byronic Heroes. I’m not surprised that Holmes is one, seeing as Doyle was born right at the end of the Romanticism Movement, he would have had major inspiration from these great writers. The major writers in Romanticism are Percy Shelly, Lord Byron, John Keats, William Blake, William Wordsworth, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I will be examining two second generation Romantic poets Lord Byron, Percy Shelly, I have chosen to examine the poems; She walks in beauty, and A Lament based on the ideas most valued by Romantic poets; Love and beauty, and youth and inevitable death.
She walks in beauty by Lord Byron
SHE walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that’s best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellow'd to that tender light 5
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face; 10
Where thoughts serenely sweet express
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.
And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,