Recall, Romanticism was a late Georgian

Eng.IV.H./Br. Byrd/Romantic Poetry
Recall, Romanticism was a late Georgian/Regency literary movement that extended to the Victorian Period
and beyond.
Bio Info
Poems to Know
William Blake (1757-1827)
Both poet and a visual artist.
“Songs” of Innocence” including
“The Lamb”.
Interesting inner life as an artist,
but pedestrian home life.
“Songs of Experience” including
“The Tyger”.
Rocky marriage.
William Wordsworth (17701850)
“Lyrical Ballads” --started
Romanticism in British poetry
“She Dwelt Among the Untrodden
Ways” (Lucy Poems)
“I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”
“Tintern Abbey”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (17721834)
Frustrated poet (not living up to
his potential.)
“The Rime of the Ancient
Originally very radical, politically
and spiritually, but ends up
conservative, politically and
“Kubla Khan”
Heavily used drugs, and wrote
under the influence.
Lord Byron (1788-1824) = only
36 when he died.
Notes given in class
“She Walks in Beauty”
(If you missed the class on Byron,
you need to ask a classmate for
“Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage”
“Don Juan”, pronounced “Don
“When We Two Parted”
Percy Bysshe Shelley (17921822) = on 30 when he died.
Married to Mary Shelley, author
of Frankenstein.
“The Necessity of Atheism”
Unhappy marriages, first with
Harriet Westbrook, then with
Mary Shelley, mainly because of
his infidelity.
“Ode to the West Wind”
Eng.IV.H./Br. Byrd/Romantic Poetry
Conservative family background
(politics and religion), but radical
liberal beliefs himself. Shelley
influenced popular politics, not
just literary thought.
Bullied as a child, so strong sense
of need for greater justice in the
His two children died young.
Shelley drowned at sea during a
storm off the coast of Italy.
John Keats (1795-1821) = only 25
when he died.
Unhappy childhood: poverty,
father dies early, mother leaves,
siblings die.
“Endymion” a super long poem
that includes the line “A thing of
beauty if a joy forever…”
Yet, Keats committed to BEAUTY
and was high-spirited. (level 10
and above)
“The Eve of St. Agnes”
Struggled to achieve success as
Intense love affair with Fanny
Brawne before dying young.
“When I Have Fears that I May
Cease To Be”
“La Belle sans Merci”
“Ode on a Grecian Urn”
Unfortunately, in terms of general education, no woman poet achieved the same level of success as the male
Romantics, though women like Charlotte Smith, Anna Letitia Barbauld, and Felicia Dorothea Hemans did
publish poetry. Note, two other successful male poets we did not have time to study were John Clare and
Robert Burns.
But while men were dominating in poetry, women continued to refine the novel genre, including Ann
Radcliffe (Gothic novels), Jane Austen (comedies of manners), and Mary Shelley (science fiction/Gothic).
By the Victorian Period, the novel, not the poem, dominates the literary world of Britain, with both men and
women achieving success equally.
As you saw with Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights and her poems, Romanticism continued to influence
literature even after the founding generation had died off. Even Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, a 20th
century American novel, echoes Romantic beliefs. So what makes Wuthering Heights or The Color Purple
“Romantic” or influenced by Romanticism?
Note, we also listened to music inspired by Romanticism--pieces by Frederic Chopin, Fanny Mendelssohn,
Ludwig von Beethoven, and Nicholai Rimsky-Korsakov. Can you articulate what made them “Romantic”?
Could you argue that any modern artists are equally influenced? The Beatles, Adele, Lady Gaga, Sara Bareilles,
Neon Trees, John Legend, Maroon 5?
Eng.IV.H./Br. Byrd/Romantic Poetry
Don’t forget that the Romantics were heavily political. Thus, Mary Wollstonecraft’s political works also “fit” in
this umbrella literary movement. Works like “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” (essay) and Maria