Romantic poetry focuses on imagination, appreciation of nature, emotion, individuality and passion. Two of the most notable poets of the Romantic era are John Keats and Percy Bysshe Shelley.Know More
A focus on the imagination is central to Romantic poetry. For example, in Keats' "Ode to a Nightingale," the poet examines nature in a bird’s song. The song inspires the poet to think about otherworldly things. To do so, he must let go of the trappings of the everyday world. When he delves into his imagination, his heart aches and his senses become numb.
Nature appreciation is another popular subject of the Romantic poets. In "Ode to the West Wind," Shelley explores the changing seasons, which causes him to consider autumn’s being. He writes that the winds are “driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,” and the poet’s thoughts are like “winged seeds” of each passing season. Each stanza of the poem represents a stage of life, including death. As Keats dreams of flying away with the nightingale, Shelley desires to become a part of his poetic experience.
Romantic poets attempt to break free from the constraints of traditional poetry through experience, nature, imagination and the emotional connection between all three.Learn more about Poetry
Following in the footsteps of their Romantic forefathers, Victorian poets focused on themes of skepticism and distrust of organized religion. Their poetry is imbued with a fascination of the occult and mysterious. However, unlike the Romantics, the Victorian poets were more likely to deny the existence of God through scientific means. Their poetry was more light-hearted and humorous, often whimsical or nonsensical.Full Answer >
Modernist poetry is characterized by themes of disillusionment, fragmentation and alienation from society. These characteristics are widely believed to be feelings brought on by the Industrial Revolution and the many social, political and economic changes that accompanied it. This multinational cultural movement began in the late 19th century and maintained its prevalence in art throughout World War I and the immediately subsequent years. Many modernist poems have speakers that seem to be struggling with their own definition of self and placement in society.Full Answer >
Victorian poetry is characterized by both religious skepticism, inherited from the Romantic Period, but contrarily also devotional poetry that proclaims a more mystical faith. Religion becomes more of a personal experience expressed through poetry. Victorian poetry also employs more humor and whimsy than the prior Romantic Period. Despite the whimsy, in the Victorian Era, poetry and literature take a more harsh and utilitarian view of nature and philosophy.Full Answer >
Modernist poetry and literature is characterized as a revolt against the prevailing Victorian aesthetic of the 19th century, with artists, intellectuals and writers rejecting tradition. Modernist poetry offerings varied, often in contradictory ways, but they are united by certain similarities: an economy of language, a habit of placing political, social and economic issues in a quasi-mythical context and a nostalgia for the past.Full Answer >