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- Cărți de Robert Browning
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- Poems and Plays by Robert Browning
In personalized lyricism, the biological poet was assumed to be the speaker in the poem, although the lyrical voice in the nineteenth century tended to be thought of generically as universal, idealist, and male. For materialists, however, or for those for whom economic and political power were the key social issues, such aesthetic endeavors were of marginal interest, offering experiences only on the fringes of human society, on areas related to spiritual or mental abstractions. Serious thinkers had more important issues to deal with, such as free trade, laissez faire economics, slavery, industrialization, class conflict, and political representation.
This exclusion was reinforced by the Romantic tendency to turn inwards. As they looked to their own emotional and mental lives for their moments of transcendent truth, Romantic poets located much of their poetry in some isolated spot, away from the intrusions and distractions of other people. Speakers in odes to autumn, nightingales, and skylarks or in hymns to Intellectual Beauty tend to talk alone, or to express a relationship with the wider world of natural phenomena rather than the world of people and social interaction.
Emphasis in poetry on the value of the individual mind was also linked with a widespread cultural obsession with introspection or self-scrutiny Shaw, Lucid ; Faas At the same time, among some social commentators suspicions were growing about the emotional excess and self-indulgence that seemed to be a side-effect of these methods, and embryonic psychology began to contest established views about madness and the function of reason.
In mental studies concepts of insanity were revised to include a deluded imagination or disrupted moral perception, and in poetry several writers began to sense that the human potential for apprehending transcendent truths, for rending the veil of material reality by means of imaginative splendour Shaw, Lucid , may as easily deploy that same imaginative splendour for fantasies of self-justification and gratification. This realization took many forms, as might be expected, but one response was to explore a variant poetic tradition of prosopopoeia , or impersonation, a mode of writing where the speaker is not the poet.
Several poets in the early part of the century, including women poets such as Felicia Hemans and Letitia Landon, began to employ this tradition, writing poems whose speakers were demonstrably not the poet. The main innovative function of Men and Women , then, is indicated by its title. While novels had been dramatising the social processes of speakers for nearly a century, that was not true of poetry.
And while the techniques of prosopopoeia were not new neither prior to the Romantics nor among earlier poems in the nineteenth century , Browning in Men and Women places his whole emphasis on the portrayal of separate voices. Idealist truth in such a mode becomes inseparable from its material moment: belief and moral justification inseparable from emotional impetus and personal need. There are uncertainties of definition and distinction abounding in these linkages, and they were radical portrayals in the context of orthodox belief systems, and yet they were also entirely consistent with radical thinking in other Victorian domains—geology, biology, mental health, Biblical scholarship, German higher criticism, crises of faith.
Nor does Browning deploy totally or always obviously a dramatic mode.
Browning's Shorter Poems, Used - AbeBooks
Many of the poems in this publication are presented as if in the traditions of expressive lyricism. Readers might well ask Robert Browning, as the organist asks Master Hugues, whether they are always to confront such a world of unresolved complexity:.
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Such an endlessly contending world would be inimical to expressive pleasure or atemporal transcendence: no wonder readers were puzzled. In those poems speakers are more self-conscious, often aware, like Cleon or Blougram, of the possibility of irony or fabrication. But the dramatic elements in more lyrical pieces have not always been so clear. Yet, as the speaker anticipates a tryst amidst the landscape of a lost civilisation, the asymmetrical alternation of long and short lines with their rhythmical imbalance should alert readers to the possibility of asymmetrical values.
Several of the love lyrics hover thus around the potential delusions and persuasions accompanying desire and its imminent gratification. These are works therefore about the ambiguities as much as the attainments of personal sublimity. Pure lyricism the expressive, atemporal purity of inner voice in this collection is almost invariably disrupted: sometimes by ambiguities of tone, sometimes by ironies of perspective, sometimes notably in the longer monologues by the mimetic detail of narrative elements, and sometimes by the sheer capacity of the individual imagination for self-deception.
As might be expected, some readers objected that many of the poems were not really poetry. But if poetry is language that draws attention to itself as language, that is exactly what Men and Women features—the acts and processes of speech in action.
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Content undoubtedly contributes to poetic meaning, but Robert Browning was also interested in language itself, in how language functions as a means of generating perception and understanding. For many years this meant readers trying to decide whether speakers were to be admired or admonished.
Is Bishop Blougram, for example, a clever and subtle cleric, a brilliant Catholic apologist in a sceptical age, or an opportunistic dilettante, more concerned with his private comforts than with the dynamics of Christian belief? Is the Grammarian a persistent and devoted scholar heroically pursuing a mastery of Greek language or some dogged introvert wasting his life on trivialities? Readers still debated the morality of speakers, but fundamentally Men and Women was seen to offer nineteenth-century dramas of individual selves, with their articulation of hopes and fears, justifications and fancies.
Eventually, critics looked more closely at textual activity, at why poems that seem to urge moral evaluation of their speakers also seem to prevent univocal readings. This development occurred in a context when intellectual historians were beginning to examine the assumptions underpinning Romantic lyricism Hosek and Parker and to recognize that the supposedly pure voice or cogito in lyrical verse was a discursive effect generated by the expectations of idealist practices. Many twentieth-century critics had a problem with Men and Women , particularly the expanded monologues, since they rarely conformed to the discrete requirements of New Critical aesthetics—the poem as icon, neatly structured as a complete and fixed object, defined by its spatial form and with all parts cohering within an organic whole.
Poetic formalism remains in terms of traditional devices of rhythm and sound, but form as the shape of articulated contemplation emerges from his growing emphasis, against contemporary expectations of poetry as a private art, on human expression as a social action. The articulations emerging from these engagements portray the politics of feeling and argument, and because such momentary acts are inseparable from a passing temporality, they are rarely concluded and rarely lead therefore to a fixed formalised object like a well-wrought urn.
In these volumes individuals, notwithstanding that they speak in monologues, exist and speak in relation to social contexts, as part of human history therefore, rather than as atemporal, isolated minds, and that display is part of what makes the publication a significant event in the history of literature and cultural representation. These are volumes where the claims of personal utterance are indissolubly linked with the constructions and persuasions or anxieties and anticipations of, in shorter poems, passing consciousness, and, in longer poems, the grander designs of identity and power.
Professor Emeritus E. Slinn, E. Dino Franco Felluga.
Cărți de Robert Browning
Extension of Romanticism and Victorianism on the Net. Armstrong, Isobel. Victorian Poetry: Poetry, Poetics, and Politics. London: Routledge, Browning, Robert. The Poems. Region: England. Poems by This Poet Related Bibliography. Abt Vogler. Among the Rocks. Andrea del Sarto. Caliban upon Setebos. A Death in the Desert. A Face. Fra Lippo Lippi. A Grammarian's Funeral. Home-Thoughts, from Abroad. Home-Thoughts, from the Sea. The Laboratory. Life in a Love. The Lost Leader.
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The Lost Mistress. Love among the Ruins. Love in a Life. Meeting at Night.
Poems and Plays by Robert Browning
My Last Duchess. My Star. Never the Time and the Place. Over the Sea our Galleys Went. Parting at Morning. The Pied Piper of Hamelin. Porphyria's Lover. Rabbi Ben Ezra. The Real and True and Sure. A Serenade at the Villa. A Toccata of Galuppi's. Two in the Campagna. Youth and Art. Show More. Anti-Love Poems. For breakups, heartache, and unrequited love. Read More. Fall Poems. Poems to read as the leaves change and the weather gets colder. Poems to integrate into your English Language Arts classroom.
War Poetry. Poetry and Music. Composed, produced, and remixed: the greatest hits of poems about music. From Audio Poem of the Day August Hearing Voices at the Met.
Di Piero. Fra Angelico and the dramatic monologues of Browning. The Imaginative Man. By Laura C. From Audio Poem of the Day June From Audio Poem of the Day January Poetry Goes Hollywood. From Poetry Off the Shelf April From Poetry Off the Shelf October Poem Guide. In the realm of the world-class talkers. True West. By Colin Dickey.