Changing Characteristics of Poetry from Modern to Romantics

Topics: Romanticism, John Keats, Romantic poetry Pages: 11 (3256 words) Published: February 18, 2013
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Changing characteristics of poetry from Romantics to Modern

The characteristics of poetry changed with the changing of eras and literary periods. Romantics have their own features and writing style. Nature and beauty play very important role in Romantic poetry. Victorian poetry is different from Romantics because its themes are about Victorian age, which is influenced by democracy, evolutionary sciences and industrial revolution. After that the Modern age comes and its themes and style of writings are entirely different from Romantic and Victorian poetry. Modern poetry has its own themes such as, isolation, anxieties and dissilliounment of modern man in the time of post-World war. This paper aim to show the changing characteristics of poetry from Romantic to Modern age.

“Poetry is an imaginative awareness of experience expressed through meaning, sound and rhythmic language choices so as to evoke an emotional response”. (Mark Flanagan). The Romantic Movement at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century was a deliberate revolt against the literary principles of the age of Reason. Romantics poets rejected the neo-classical principles in favor of the Romantics. In doing so, they reverted to the Elizabethan or the first romantic age in English literature. The romantic in ordinary life is an escape from its monotonous routine, its conventionality and custom. The three impulses of the romantic imagination, passion for nature, yearning for the past. The Romanticism was nothing but an extension to the field of literature of man’s unquenchable thirst for beauty that lies in the strange, the extraordinary, the remote combination of the strange and beauty constitutes the romantic in literature. Some of the greatest and most popular English poets like Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley and Keats belong to this period. This period starts from 1798 with the publication of Lyrical Ballads. The important characteristics of Romantic poetry include love for nature, emotions, beauty, imagination, symbolism and individualism. All these characteristics can be seen in the poetry of romantic poetry. Wordsworth is famous as the greatest nature poet of England and his contemporaries Byron, Shelley and Keats were great lovers of nature. Wordsworth treated nature differently from other poets. He worshiped nature, because he saw in all natural objects the indwelling spirit of the Supreme Being. Nature was also healer and soother for him when he was in the grip of a great spiritual crisis. England’s declaration of war against France was a great shock to Wordsworth. He saw nature mothering and consoling from the very childhood. He describes this emotion in these lines: Fair seed time had my soul, and I grew up

Fostered alike by beauty and by fear;
Much Favored in my birthplace, and no less
In that beloved vale to which ere long
We were transplanted (The Prelude Book 1: 301-305) Shelley’s conception of nature in his short lyrics varied according to the mood he was in. Sometimes he saw nature as one, as an individual and at another time he saw nature not as one being but as many beings as men of mythological times saw it. He made new myths out of the various objects of nature. Nature for Wordsworth was a spiritual reality and Shelley agreed with this conception but he endowed nature with intellect. In the Hymn to Intellectual Beauty, the poet imagines the whole earth as being illuminated by the glory of this universal spirit and the same thing is present in Hymn to the Spirit of Nature: Lamp of earth! Where’re thou lovest

Its dim shapes are clad with...
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