When he was young, he became
a supporter of French revolution; but then the war between
§ In the Preface to the second edition of the Lyrical Ballads he explained his poetry:
1) poetry has to speak about humble people, who lives in close touch with nature, in their every day life
2) poetry must have a simple language, similar to the language spoken by simple people
3) only poet is able to understand the message of nature and can give a response to it: he colour what he saw with his imagination, just to make more interesting nature, in order to explain it to other people
4) poetry isn’t an immediate production, but it is the union of imagination to what he saw with his sense, in particular sight
§ The solitary reaper: a lady is in a field: she is binding the corn, and she sings a song. When poet is alone, he remembers this song that will stay in his hearth for ever
§ The rainbow: Child is the father of man because he is more near to nature
§ Daffodils: Poet is alone in a natural landscape and he sees a non-ending line of daffodils that dance. He sees this scene, and then, in a vacant or pensive mood even his heart dances with the daffodils. Nature and human being are animated by the same spirit (pantheism)
§ He lost his parents when he was young. He went to school and was attracted by classic art and literature. He visited British museum where he saw the Elgin Marbles; he was interested in the perfection of plastic Greek art.. he wrote same poems, but critics, in order to attack his friends Hunt, criticised him. He loved Fanny Brawne, but they didn’t married. He died young for his tuberculosis
§ In his poems the sense of death, of melanchony and unhappiness are ever present
§ Art expresses the perfection of beauty and is immortal, so art is the last form of knowledge because is able to make immortal what poet says. Beauty is truth. So Keats find in art a sort of consolation of life that is characterised by sadness
§ He doesn’t imitate classic art, but he add his personal power of creation to classic art: he create thanks with imagination a perfect world. Nature is present only as a background, that participate to the events: there isn’t a pantheistic vision
§ Ode on a Grecian Urn: he saw an urn and tells what he sees in the two sides: a boy wants to reach and kiss a girl, but art made immortal the lady for ever young and this love without an end. Poetry that speaks of reality is sweet, but poetry of imagination is sweeter. On the other side there is described a sacrifice: town will remain for ever without inhabitants, that are near the altar
§ La Belle Dame Sans Merci: he is interested in medieval world, with its castles, kings, remote places, supernatural events. Even style is typical of middle age: it is a ballad
§ He had an happy childhood, but soon his parents died and he was adopted by Mrs Allan. After her death he remained alone. He began to wrote to earn money. He married his cousin, but after some happy years, she died of tuberculosis. Then he wasn’t able to find a positive sense in his life, and began to drink spirits and to use drugs. His death is mysterious.
§ He adopted the theory of the single effect: poet has to decide which effect he wants to reach with his play, and then he uses all literary technique in order to this aim, just from the first line
§ Poetry is a “rhythmical creation of beauty”, so in his poem he wants to reach beauty using musicality (for example in Annabel Lee). Poem hasn’t other aim, hasn’t a moral object: it expresses only the feelings of the poet. Poetry is closed in itself .
§ Poe is famous for his short tales. They are divided into two groups:
a) Tales of ratiocination: there is a detective hero that using reason and common sense is able to solve same cases. These tales introduces the genre of detective story
b) Tales of imagination: here he describes mystery, supernatural events, hallucination, anguish that often came from the inner of the characters. Other elements that are present are the passage from life to death and vice versa, the setting in close place, the presence of clock as the passing of time By the stylistic point of view he often uses interior monologue (for example in The masque of the red death, The pit and the pendulum, The tell-tale heart, Ms. Found in a bottle, )
§ Poe is able to write both group of tales because his personality was characterised by some moments of terror, anguish, sense of death, and other moments when he was very rational.