How romantic is Romantic Poetry?
The word “romantic” as a noun means a feeling of love between two people that is usually in a short lived relationship, as a verb it means to try and make someone love you and it can also be used as an adjective, for example a person may have found a place romantic as it made them feel very strong emotions. “Romantic” poetry is about describing nature’s beauty and emphasizes human emotions. These human emotions may be of love but they can also be of hate, jealousy or any other human emotion. Romantic” poetry is meant to provoke strong feelings in the reader, whether they are of love, hate etc.
“Composed upon Westminster Bridge” by William Wordsworth is a poem about London and how it made Wordsworth feel. There is quite rich imagery as Wordsworth describes London and it is obvious that he felt very strongly about this city and enjoyed being there. Wordsworth compared London to nature, “Earth had not anything to show more fair. ” He believed that nature could not create anything more spectacular than man had in this city.
As he has used nature and its beauty in this poem, it is Romantic, and it is also romantic as it the reader can feel what Wordsworth sees when he looks over London as he uses such detailed descriptions, “Ships, towers, domes, theatres and temples lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky. ” William Blake also wrote a poem called “London” about the city. However, Blake did not think the city was as “majestic” as Wordsworth made London appear. Blake saw “Marks of weakness, marks of woe. In every cry of every man, In every Infant’s cry of fear, In every voice” when he walked through London.
This poem is Romantic as it brings strong feelings to the reader like Wordsworth’s poem did, but these are negative emotions. Blake’s poem is not very romantic though as there are no feelings of joy or love for London in this poem as Wordsworth’s poem did. There are poems which may appear to be romantic but are not when the meaning has been found. Lord Byron’s poem “So We’ll Go No More A-Roving” does appear to be romantic at first glance, “we’ll go no more a-roving By the light of the moon” appears to be sincere.
It sounds as though Lord Byron was being sincere and vowing to be faithful, yet the reason he is going to do this is because his body cannot cope, “For the sword outwears its sheath, And the soul wears out the breast, And the heart must pause to breathe”. This poem is not very romantic as there is no real love felt between Lord Byron and his lover, and it does not appear that Lord Byron has any feeling of regret and is seeing the situation very negatively.
This poem could be Romantic as there are strong emotions expressed and it also speaks about nature, “Though the heart be still as loving, And the moon be still as bright. ” The poem “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns is similar to Lord Byron’s poem in the sense that it has been written for a person to tell them something. In contrast to Lord Byron’s poem, Burns’ poem is about how much he loves someone. The poem is Romantic as it uses a lot of nature to describe his very strong passionate feelings of love, “Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear, And the rocks melt with the sun”.
Burns used things in nature that cannot occur to say when his love would stop. Burns’ poem is also romantic as it does contain a lot of strong love provoked emotions. Although this love may be short lived, as he uses a rose to describe his love which does not last forever, this poem could still be described as romantic as a “romance” is usually a short lived passionate relationship. Romantic poetry does not have to be about love, or be a poem written to someone, it could just be a way to let out strong feelings a person experienced.
John Clare’s poem “I Am” is not about letting someone know they love them, or do not love them, but is about how he feels trapped and alone in the world. Clare felt that he could not cope with his life and this poem expressed this well “I am: yet what I am none cares or knows, My friends forsake me like a memory lost”. Clare felt that he had no one to turn to “I am the self-consumer of my woes”. This poem is Romantic as it shows his feelings of being lost and secluded from the world, and also as it speaks of nature “Untroubling, and untroubled where I lie, The grass below – above the vaulted sky.
This poem is not very romantic as there is no positivity or feelings of happiness or love for the place or situation Clare is in. Romantic poetry can be romantic, but it also may not be. This depends on what the poem is about and how the poet feels about that place, situation or person. Wordsworth and Blake both wrote about London, but as they viewed it in very different perspectives, only Wordsworth’s poem was romantic as it was positive.