Poetry of the Romantics
The Romantic poets ushered in a new era of poetry. Their poetry was characterised by vivid and colourful language, evocative of elevating themes and ideas.
William Wordsworthhad a great love and intimacy with nature. He was able to capture the vivid joy of experiencing nature at first hand.
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
This is an extract from William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence” – William Blake had the capacity to express poetry of great innocence and joy such as this extract below.
“I have no name:
I am but two days old.”
What shall I call thee?
“I happy am,
Joy is my name.”
Sweet joy befall thee!
However Blake’s poetry also has profound depth and a strong mystical element.
Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
By: William Blake
From: The Tyger
A Thing of Beauty
A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Percy Shelley was something of an outsider. His professed atheism led him to be expelled from Oxford University. He experienced much suffering and loss, which gave him a melancholic view of life. However his poetry was infused with a radical individualism which offered a mixed message of hope through suffering.
“To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than Death or Night;
To defy Power, which seems Omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope, till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change nor falter nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan! is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire and Victory.”
From: Prometheus Unbound
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
Commentaries on Poems by Richard Pettinger
Photo Copyright Top: Pavitrata Taylor