The True Pre-Romantic Poets
Poets can be considered Pre-Romantic base on subject matter, style, and ideas. The Age of Johnson was a time after Pope and Swift and before Romantic poets of the 1790’s. This period had three influential poets: Gray, Burns, and Blake. Gray, Burns, and Blake are all considered Pre-Romantic poets dude to their romantic matter, style, and ideas in their poems, Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard, To a Mouse, and The Chimney Sweeper.
Gray’s Pre-Romanticism is clearly shown in his poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard. He is known as Pre-Romantic due to his touch on three romantic aspects. The first is his concern with the common people. The reader can see Gray’s concern with the common people by the way he talks about the poor and everyone dyeing all to be buried in the ground alone. Gray also talks about how people will make storied urns in order to show the life of the deceased person, also showing his concern with the common people. Gray’s next romantic aspect he touches on is his concern with the particular in his very detailed descriptions of everything. “The breezy call of incense-breathing morn, the swallow twittering from the straw-built shed.”(Lines 12-18) This shows his attention to detail in how he describes the shed and how the morning breeze feels. Gray’s final aspect of Romance is his examination of inner feelings and emotions. Feelings are a very romantic theme, which the reader can see in Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard in the quote, “The plowman homeward plods his weary way.”(Line 2) This quote alone shows a deep and dark emotion that is written very grimly. Gray clearly shows his reasoning for being a Pre-Romantic poet in his poem Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard.
Burns shows his reason for being considered Pre-Romantic with the three Romantic aspects shown in his poem To a Mouse. The first aspect is his belief that nature should be untamed. “I’m truly sorry man’s dominion has...
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