Tag Archives: English Poetry

Characteristics of Romantic Revival

The first half of the nineteenth century records the triumph of romanticism in literature. Newton’s science and Locke’s philosophy were important contributions to the eighteenth-century ethos that made the literature of Pope and Dryden. The revolution of 1789 had violently shaken English thought and aroused liberal ideas in England. Romanticism in the broad sense meant individualism and the revival of imaginative faculty in the matter of literary compositions. Romanticism is described as a return to Nature and ‘the renascence of wonder’. It is the introduction of imagination and a sense of mystery in literature.

Famous poets of the Romanticism Movement

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) endowed Nature with a new meaning and significance. He wrote about familiar common subjects and gave them a light that was never on sea or land. He departed from the gaudy poetic diction and wrote in familiar language as far as practicable. His great contribution to English poetry was the re-interpretation of Nature as a vital entity, a speaking presence, and an acting principle. Wordsworth through his poetry made a revolt against urban-industrial civilization and considered the evils of modern life as stemming from man’s separation from Nature. His long poem, the Prelude, and his poem like Lines Written on Tintern Abbey are eloquent expressions of his philosophy of nature. In short, Wordsworth spearheads the movement against the neo-classical school.

Tintern Abbey

Coleridge (1772-1834) made the supernatural and thereby widened the scope of imaginative understanding. Coleridge introduced into romance a touch of dream and fantasy that increased its unreality and reduced the total living experience to the level of a mere groundwork for a supernatural thrill and a tenuous symbolism. Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, Christabel, Kubla Khan are remarkable for evoking the thrill of the supernatural through suggestive details and witchery of language.

John Keats (1795-1821) added to the basic quality of romance a sensuousness, hunger, and yearning for beauty in all its concrete shapes and forms, a sense of regret and frustration more poignantly felt because rooted in his personal experience. In his poetry, he suggests a contrast between the real world of suffering and frustrations and the imaginative ideal world of dreams and desires and his poetry records his wistful yearning for the ideal world. Keats’ romanticism lies in suggesting the thrill of beauty through sensuous pictures and expressions. His Lamia, the Eve of St Agnes, Ode to a Nightingale, Ode on a Grecian Urn, Ode to Autumn show his romantic aspiration.

The Eve of St. Agnes

Shelley (1792-1822) was the most vital instinct with the pure essence of a romantic spirit. He gave himself up most unreservedly to the impulse and inspiration of the romantic spirit. He had imbibed the explosive forces of the French Revolution and championed the cause of revolution and freedom in every sphere of human life. There is, however, a melancholy note in his poetry which springs from his frustrations and unfulfilled desires. He pined for an ideal world of beauty, love, and freedom but he yearned in vain. He sang of the millennium when evils of life would disappear like patches of clouds. Shelley’s best qualities are revealed in his Prometheus Unbound, Ode to the West Wind, To a Skylark. He is a lyrical genius par excellence: His poetry is marked by melody and imagery.

Lord Byron (1788-1824) is rightly described as a romantic poet only on the outer fringe of his consciousness. He was affiliated to the Popian tradition by his satiric spirit and adoption of the couplet. Yet he possessed a romantic ardor which is manifested in his upholding the cause of freedom and liberty and in his zeal for expressing his ego-centric consciousness.

The literature of this period was free from restrictions and technicalities. The poets aimed at the spontaneous and exuberant expression of emotions. The Romantic Revival helped the revival of the lyric form marked by its spontaneity and musical qualities. It allowed a free play of imagination. There was variety and individuality in the literature of the Romantic Revival. The poets of the period chose a variety of themes and styles of expression. The romantic poets wrote narrative poems, lyrics, sonnets, odes, ballads, and generally used blank verse. The spirit of the Romantic Revival lasted until the arrival of the Victorian poets who combined the lyricism of the Romantics with the sense of order and restraint of the classicists.

The Romantic Revival

The first thirty years of the 19th century is termed as the period of the Romantic Revival in English literature. The Elizabethans were the first romantics. The romantic spirit suffered a decline during the subsequent ages and it was left to the writers, especially the poets of the early 19th century, to bring back that spirit once again to literature. The Romantic Revival is a broad term used to indicate the change that came over literary sensibility and expression during this period.

Romantic Revival in English Literature

The Romantic Revival was a revolt against the neo-classical spirit. The classical mode had outlived its utility and a change was universally felt. The signs of revolt became evident when James Thompson published his ‘The Season’, a poem new in matter and manner. Collins and Gray enlarged the spirit of the movement in their odes and elegies. Burns, Crabbe, and Cowper also contributed to the incipient revolt against the neo-classical traditions. Among the early romantics, William Blake was the most revolutionary and his two publications ‘Songs of Innocence’ (1789) and ‘Songs of Experiences’ (1794) were landmarks in the evolution of the romantic spirit in English poetry. These poets are called ‘the transition poets’ because they represented a period just before the great romantics.

Impact on French Revolution

The ideas of the French Revolution such as liberty, equality, and fraternity encouraged the growth of the romantic spirit. The literature and arts of ancient Greece and Rome and the writings of philosophers like Rousseau also had an impact on the Romantic Revival. Victor Hugo defined romanticism as liberalism in literature. The romantic outlook emphasised spontaneity of expression and encouraged man’s right to utter his thoughts without restrictions.

Romanticism in poetry

Romanticism is the expression of sharpened sensibilities and heightened imaginative feeling. It found solace in going back to the ancients both in mythology and history. It was also a return to nature. Romanticism was not only concerned with beauty and inner life but also added strangeness to beauty. Other aspects of romanticism are a subtle sense of mystery, an exuberant intellectual curiosity, and an instinct for the elemental simplicities of life. Thus the Romantic Revival brought back many of the characteristics of the Renaissance and the Reformation. The dignity and importance of man were recognised and the emotions and feelings of even the humblest human being were recognised as worthy of artistic and literary expression. The spirit of the Romantic Revival was best expressed in the poetry of the great romantics Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats, Shelley, and Byron and the novels of Walter Scott. Even the prose writings of Charles Lamb were colored by romantic sentiments.

The Lyrical Ballads published by Wordsworth and Coleridge in 1798 inaugurated the romantic era. It is called the period of Romantic Revival because the glorious productions of the nineteenth century had a close kinship with those of the spacious age of Elizabeth. Unbridled imagination, the first joy of a newfound power-the inevitable consequence of the Renaissance and Reformation characterised the Elizabethan and Caroline literature in the seventeenth century. But this spirit of imaginative enthusiasm was subjected to deep scrutiny and close criticism by the growing self-consciousness of the nation in the next age-the age of Pope and Johnson. During the eighteenth century, in society, in politics, in life and literature which is but a reflection of life, it stood for order, dignity, clarity, and for a certain standard of grace and beauty of ‘correctness’ and decorum in expression, and for the smothering of all passions and emotions which came to be regarded as barbaric and genteel. Against this spirit, the natural reaction was the second Romantic movement which was founded by William Blake and strengthened by William Wordsworth.

Victor Hugo describes romanticism as ‘liberalism in literature’. Wordsworth in his preface to the Lyrical Ballads boldly asserts “Those who have been accustomed to the gaudiness and inane phraseology of modern writers, if they persist in reading this book to its conclusion will no doubt, frequently have to struggle with feelings of strangeness and awkwardness.”

The Point Is Poetry

“This is what poems are for:

Telling other people things

I can no longer tell you.”

This quote by Trista Mateer is one of my favorite quotes of all time. Because every time I read this quote, I cannot help but wonder what was going on in the minds of those great poets when they wrote the poems we read today, or rather who was going on in the minds of those poets?The center of almost every poem is the poet missing their lover or their mother or their home or they are extremely happy or extremely sad and there’s no other way to express that feeling but poetry. ‘There’s no other way to express that feeling but poetry.’ Everything makes so much more sense when it’s in the form of poetry.

Truth be told, I haven’t always been this big of a poetry fan. For the longest time poems for me were just lessons in my English textbook. The emphasis was more on finding the figure of speech and not on connecting with the poet. Every line had a hidden meaning, the red dress was a symbol of pain or sometimes pleasure, the blue eyes symbolized the oceans of tears she held in her eyes, the daffodils symbolized happiness. We were always told to read between the lines. But what if, just what if, the red dress is just a red dress symbolizing nothing but how much does our girl in the poem like the color red or maybe not even that. What if blue eyes are just the color of her eyes and the poem mentions daffodils because it’s the only flower that grows around her house? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that poems are just plain sentences that symbolize nothing. I’m sure that many poems like ‘the road not taken’ actually do have a deeper meaning. All I’m trying to say is that we don’t always have to search for deeper meaning. The point of poetry is for you to enjoy it, it’s for you to connect to it.

Shakespeare rightly said that the only thing that will outlive everything is poetry. The feelings you feel now of pain or heartbreak or misery or happiness or love, you think those feelings are unique to you, you think that no one in the world could understand what you’re feeling and then one day you come across a poem that speaks to you in a way you didn’t think was possible. It seems like that poem is something from your own head. And that part of you is a bit more defined, a bit sharper, and a bit easier to understand and explain to others. And in a while, you realize that this poet felt exactly what you’re feeling just some hundred and fifty years ago. Told you that everything makes so much more sense when it’s in the form of poetry.

What’s more interesting is we all read the same poetry and miss different people, different places, different homes. How that poem is written for none of us but somehow for every one of us. Don’t you think that’s the entire point of poetry? You don’t have to understand the poetry to enjoy it. You don’t have to read every work of your favorite poet to say you’re a fan. You don’t have to go look for the deeper meaning, sometimes there isn’t any and sometimes the deeper meaning is how the poem resonates with you. Sometimes the point of poetry is poetry.

The Point is Poetry

“This is what poems are for:

Telling other people things

I can no longer tell you.”

This quote by Trista Mateer is one of my favorite quotes of all time. Because every time I read this quote, I cannot help but wonder what was going on in the minds of those great poets when they wrote the poems we read today, or rather who was going on in the minds of those poets?The center of almost every poem is the poet missing their lover or their mother or their home or they are extremely happy or extremely sad and there’s no other way to express that feeling but poetry. ‘There’s no other way to express that feeling but poetry.’ Everything makes so much more sense when it’s in the form of poetry.

Truth be told, I haven’t always been this big of a poetry fan. For the longest time poems for me were just lessons in my English textbook. The emphasis was more on finding the figure of speech and not on connecting with the poet. Every line had a hidden meaning, the red dress was a symbol of pain or sometimes pleasure, the blue eyes symbolized the oceans of tears she held in her eyes, the daffodils symbolized happiness. We were always told to read between the lines. But what if, just what if, the red dress is just a red dress symbolizing nothing but how much does our girl in the poem like the color red or maybe not even that. What if blue eyes are just the color of her eyes and the poem mentions daffodils because it’s the only flower that grows around her house? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that poems are just plain sentences that symbolize nothing. I’m sure that many poems like ‘the road not taken’ actually do have a deeper meaning. All I’m trying to say is that we don’t always have to search for deeper meaning. The point of poetry is for you to enjoy it, it’s for you to connect to it.

Shakespeare rightly said that the only thing that will outlive everything is poetry. The feelings you feel now of pain or heartbreak or misery or happiness or love, you think those feelings are unique to you, you think that no one in the world could understand what you’re feeling and then one day you come across a poem that speaks to you in a way you didn’t think was possible. It seems like that poem is something from your own head. And that part of you is a bit more defined, a bit sharper, and a bit easier to understand and explain to others. And in a while, you realize that this poet felt exactly what you’re feeling just some hundred and fifty years ago. Told you that everything makes so much more sense when it’s in the form of poetry.

What’s more interesting is we all read the same poetry and miss different people, different places, different homes. How that poem is written for none of us but somehow for every one of us. Don’t you think that’s the entire point of poetry? You don’t have to understand the poetry to enjoy it. You don’t have to read every work of your favorite poet to say you’re a fan. You don’t have to go look for the deeper meaning, sometimes there isn’t any and sometimes the deeper meaning is how the poem resonates with you. Sometimes the point of poetry is poetry.

“THE BARD OF AVON” : WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

  • Introduction and birth
  • Shakespeare’s Lost years
  • Career and his works
  • Writing style
  • His famous quotes

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and the one man in his time plays many parts.”

William Shakespeare was an English poet mystery, playwright and actor of the Renaissance era who is considered one of the greatest writers to ever use the English language. He was an important member of the King’s Men company of theatrical players from roughly 1594 onward. He is also the most famous playwright in the world, with his plays being translated in over 50 languages and performed across the globe for audiences of all ages known colloquially as“The Bard” or “The Bard of Avon,” Shakespeare was also an actor and the creator of the Globe Theatre, a historical theatre, and company that is visited by hundreds of thousands of tourists every year. Shakespeare’s writings capture the range of human emotion and conflict and have been celebrated for more than 400 years.

His birth records does not exist, but an old church record indicates that a William Shakespeare was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon on April 26, 1564. Shakespeare was educated at the King’s New School, a free chartered grammar school that was located in Stratford. There he studied the basic Latin text and grammar, much of which was standardized across the country by Royal decree. He was also known to partake in the theatre while at the school . As a commoner, Shakespeare’s education was thought to finish at the grammar school level as there is no record of him attending university, which was a luxury reserved for upper-class families.

Shakespeare’s Lost years –
In 1582, an 18-year-old Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway. After the birth of his twins in 1585, Shakespeare disappeared from public record until 1592, when his works began appearing on the London stage. These seven years are known as “Shakespeare’s Lost Years,” and have been the source of various stories that remain unverified, including a salacious story involving Shakespeare escaping Stratford prosecution for deer poaching.

Career –
William Shakespeare first made his appearance on the London stage, where his plays would be written and performed, around 1592. He was, however, well known enough to be attacked by critics in newspapers, and thus was considered to be already an established playwright.

After the year 1594, Shakespeare’s plays were solely performed by a company owned by a group of actors known as the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which became London’s leading company.
Between about 1590 and 1613, Shakespeare wrote at least 37 plays and collaborated on several more. His 17 comedies include The Merchant of Venice and Much Ado About Nothing. The most famous among his tragedies are Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. Shakespeare also wrote 4 poems, and a famous collection of Sonnets which was first published in 1609.

Early Works and after 1600: Histories and Comedies

  • Henry VI (Parts I, II and III), Richard II and Henry V – Shakespeare’s first plays were mostly histories.
  • Tragic love story Romeo and Juliet.
  • Julius Caesar portrays upheaval in Roman politics that may have resonated with viewers at a time when England’s aging monarch, Queen Elizabeth I, had no legitimate heir.
  • Comedies – the whimsical A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the romantic Merchant of Venice,the wit and wordplay of Much Ado About Nothing and the charming As You Like It and Twelfth Night.
  • Other plays before 1600 include Titus Andronicus, The Comedy of Errors, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew, Love’s Labour’s Lost, King John, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry V.
  • After 1600: Tragedies and Tragicomedies- Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth. In these, Shakespeare’s characters present vivid impressions of human temperament that are timeless and universal.
  • In Shakespeare’s final period, he wrote several tragicomedies – Cymbeline, The Winter’s Tale and The Tempest.
  • Other plays written during this period include All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Timon of Athens, Coriolanus, Pericles and Henry VIII.

Writing Styles –
Shakespeare’s early plays were written in the conventional style of the day, with elaborate metaphors and rhetorical phrases that didn’t always align naturally with the story’s plot or characters.
However, Shakespeare was very innovative, adapting the traditional style to his own purposes and creating a free flow of words.
With only small degrees of variation, Shakespeare primarily used a metrical pattern consisting of lines of unrhymed or blank verse, to compose his plays. At the same time, there are passages in all the plays that deviate from this and use forms of poetry or simple prose.
While it’s difficult to determine the exact chronology of Shakespeare’s plays, over the course of two decades, from about 1590 to 1613, he wrote a total of 37 plays revolving around several main themes: histories, tragedies, comedies and tragicomedies.

Today, his plays are highly popular and constantly studied and reinterpreted in performances with diverse cultural and political contexts. The genius of Shakespeare’s characters and plots are that they present real human beings in a wide range of emotions and conflicts that transcend their origins in Elizabethan England.

Various famous quotes of william Shakespeare

“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

“A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool”.

“The empty vessel makes the loudest sound”.

“We are time’s subjects, and time bids be gone”.

Box of rosEs

She is a box of roses

Wrapped in coffee stained newspapers

That you press under cups

Every time they sail with the wind

To hide the stories of abuse they print.

Every word your mouth exhales is capsuled in hate.

That fill her pockets so heavily

That she drowned into nothingness.

She looks at the stars and wishes them to consume her

She looks at her reflection and is surrounded by

Filters to filter out 

what they reject to call beauty.

Those crystals of herself, strained and censored

Dangle like yellow autumn leaves separating from a tree

That descend to the ground, 

dusted with self doubt. 

But when the night shines

and the piercing city lights are dim,

I will show you the brightness you carry within.

Reach out to me on instagram @ekanika_shah

Father— poetry

Father, the fire is now gone
and your dreams, now extinguished
crippled under the ire of fire.
let alone the home, there isn’t even the house.
the words, they refuse to come out of my  mouth.
Get up father, 
your lolled head is where all my dreams are kept.
Look father, I’ve been a good girl.
Everyone’s here to meet you,
all the preparations done only for you!
For you is the ceremony, 
for you is the new house a bustling, and the people, soon disappearing.
Look father, father, father!
The fire, it melted my shield, 
My father does not hear me.
Hos breath quintened forever ,
His body stilled like never.
The unsolicited questioning eyes surround me,
Like waves in a sea
But I, I trudge to the crematory
Yet another but intentional fire giving a final end to his story.

Reach out to me on instagram @ekanika_shah

Limericks

A young girl cherry

There was a young girl Cherry,
she wanted to dance and shake her belly;
she decided to slim herself down;
suddenly broke her crown,
Oh! that poor girl Cherry.

Slippy cat

There was a slippy cat named Silk,
she had her eyes on my milk;
I became quite wise,
why don’t you try some mice,
This is how she was bilked.

Foodie Rudy

There was a boy Rudy,
Who was a big foodie;
Even in his dreams,
He always used to think about the creams;
Suppose this was the only his duty.

Chocolate river

If there were a river of chocolate,
I put them in my bag when it coagulates;
I share them with my friends,
Till they end;
By this, we would never get isolated.

A young girl Rose

There was a young girl Rose,
Who used to have a big nose;
Every time she lied,
Her nose became thrice;
Oh! that poor girl Rose.

Mary a fairy

There was a girl Mary,
She wanted to fly like a fairy;
After trying so well,
She always used to fail;
Still, she was not ordinary.

Big Hat cat

There was a pussy Cat,
Who had a big hat;
carrying so many mice in it,
she was very happy and fit;
This is how she enjoys her meat.

Mothers Day poetry

I walked into my garden

The soil appeared to be scraps of papers sewn together disproportionately,

Rain came in like delayed parcels

I noticed the rose, dripping water off it’s petals

drop by drop and then it all— like your love

The sky descended down to me,

Solid as a glass, blue as a sea

I wiped off the clouds,

and looked at heaven,

And oh, it looked like you.

-ekanika shah

Reach out to me on instagram @ekanika_shah

A lonely world and other poems— book review

“A lonely world and other poems”, by Himanshu Goel is a perfect combination of inclusions and exclusions, of sadness mingling with hope, of a longing and rejection of home.

 It beautifully lays down the extraordinary situations in the life of every ordinary human. It swiftly blends the tales of being compelled into loneliness to wanting, yet rejecting to come out of it at the same time. 

I confess, it is one of the most relatable and captivating poetry compilations. The compilation is a lot of things—home, hope, severity and rivety. It lays naked the fact how the world is full of happy people with festered souls. You may go into a self-introspection mode by the end of this beauty. Ever wondered, how we let things happen, see distances increase and still lie back in the fear of being vulnerable?

It would open you to the strangeness of silently seeing yourself become someone you don’t want to and do nothing about it. It’s a realisation that the loneliness trapped inside of you is beautifully tragic. You will experience being a passionate person lost into a labyrinth that leads no where. The hard-hitting end is captivatingly painful. It’s the place where you’ll find imperfections being glorified better than beauty, society being questioned so blatantly and yet so poetically.


Get it now from Amazon!
https://www.amazon.in/lonely-world-other-poems-ebook/dp/B089MDCXR7/ref=sr_1_2?dchild=1&keywords=A+lonely&qid=1591856625&s=gift-cards&sr=1-2-catcorr