ENG125: Intro to Literature
Instructor: Jaclyn Mallan-King
February 18, 2013
Three elements in the poem “She Walks In Beauty” are rhythm, rhyme, theme, and a fourth is language. The theme “She Walks In Beauty” is what caught my eye. She walks in beauty, I’m thinking about a beautiful woman walking along the shore of the beach with wind blowing her hair in the moonlight. The stars are out and the moonlight is glistening from the water. The theme is the setting for the poem. It gives you the opportunity to imagine what the poem may be about or an idea of how the poem may speak to your mind and heart. Then we have the language in the poem. The language in this poem puts me back to the 1800s, when the poem was written by “Lord Byron, a charismatic poet,” (Clugston, 2010). Lord Byron is speaking about a loved one in his poem. You can feel it in his language and imagine how he is sounding. When he says, “and on that cheek, and o’er that brow,” he knows of who he speaks. I love the language of the poem. It goes perfectly with the setting, the moonlight, the beach, and the language of speaking so eloquent to a person in love. The rhythm of the poem “emphasizes emotional expressiveness,” (Clugston, 2010). When you get the beat or rhythm together then you can finish what you started, in music. She Walks In Beauty is a four-part song, so the rhythm sometimes comes natural with a song. He’s speaking to her as a beautiful love song. Watching her in the moonlight and softly singing to her heart. The rhythm brings the tone of the song to feel his thoughts of love for her. He says, “or softly lightens o’er her face, where thoughts serenely sweet express, how pure, how dear their dwelling place,” (Clugston, 2010). The rhythm is a part of understanding what his heart is trying to say to her. Her face is softly lightened by the moon and she’s pure to him in their dwelling place of serenity.
Then there’s rhyme. Not every poem has to...