Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Chief Characteristics of Romantic Poetry (1)


The term ‘Romanticism’ has been variously defined by various writers. Peter, for example, calls it the “addition of strangeness to beauty”. And Watts Dunton defines it as, “the renaissance of wonder.” Herfood calls it extraordinary development of imaginative sensibility. Legouis and Cazamian emphasize both the emotional and imaginative aspects of romanticism and call it, “an accentuated predominance of emotional life, provoked and directed by the exercise of imaginative vision”. All such definitions are, however, unsatisfactory and partial, for they emphasize one or the other element of this type of literature instead of giving a composite view. It would therefore, be more profitable to consider the salient features of English Romantic poetry instead of wasting time in defining Romanticism.

The chief characteristics of romantic poetry are:

a. Subjectivity
All Romantic literature is subjective in nature. It is an expression of the inner urges of the soul of the artist. The poet does not care for the rules and regulations, but gives free expression to his emotions. Emphasis is laid on inspiration and intuition rather than on the observance of set rules. The poet writes according to his own fancy, and is often guilty of wild excesses. Romantic poetry is fanciful, introspective and is often marked by extravagance. Hence it has been criticized as irregular and wild. As the poet is free to write any theme, and in any for he likes, we have the immense variety of Romantic poetry

b. Spontaneity
Romantic poetry is spontaneous overflow of powerful passions. The romantic poet is gifted with strong organic sensibility, he feels more than there is to feel and sees more than there is to see. Even ordinary objects and incidents excite his imagination and set up in his powerful passion. When the mood is no him, he signs in strains of unpremeditated art. Poetry for him is not craft but inspiration. Carried away by his powerful passions and excited imagination, the poet does not care for the perfection of form or clarity of perfection of form or clarity of expression. The result is much vagueness and obscurity. Substance is more important for him than the form.

c. Love of the Supernatural
The romantic is extraordinarily alive to wonder, mystery and beauty of the universe. He feels the presence of unseen powers in nature. The unseen, transcendental world is more real for the poet than the world of the senses. The supernatural has a special charm for him; he is attracted by the stories of fairies, ghosts and witchcraft. His poetry of the universe. Supernaturalism is an important element in Romantic inspiration. This often makes romantic poetry mystical and removed from the everyday experiences of life.
(To be continued...)

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Rozanna said...

Hi,I like what you wrote about the Romantic poetry.
Good luck
Rose

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