British Poetry Essay

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"The Sleeping Beauty" by Lord Alfred Tennyson uses several narrative techniques. The first of which can be seen in the second line of the first stanza. "She lying on her couch alone" (). The phrase uses incorrect English to change the tone of the poem. Although the poem does not try to establish a rhyming pattern in the BC in the first stanza with "grown" and "form," the two words sound well together as though they rhyme. The pattern however is ABABCDCD with BC sounding like they should rhyme. All the "slumberous light" uses personification to describe light.

Many of the lines within the first stanza are filled with imagery of this woman: "A braid of pearl" and "rounded curl." She is so beautiful and magnificent that even the smallest things she does are explained or described on a grand scale. She is the epitome of beauty and wears the finest of bracelets. Her hair, so well formed in words: "Her full black ringlets" are an indicator of something the writer wants to evoke, perhaps the darkness of her state and the health of the girl. Long, thick hair especially during Victorian times was admired.

Furthermore people who delve into the scene like Tennyson does do this to achieve immersion into a moment. The woman is sleeping, she caught between to realms. In these two realms her undeniable grace and beauty are pictured in lines of a poem that rhyme and at the same time confuse. Such grandeur in these lines evoke a sense of forever and instant.

"Ode to a Grecian Urn" by John Keats, the last poem discussed, is one of the most popular poems of its era. It is rich with imagery and symbolism. The first of which is the urn. The urn is the main focus of the poem. The descriptions of the urn vary as the poem progresses. The start of the poem has the urn appearing virginal as well as married. The speaker dislikes its decoration but compliments its shape. Towards the end it is viewed as a sage that imparts wisdom. This then becomes ekphrasis.

The other symbols that are of particular interest are the plants and trees as the descriptions within the verses are inundated with weeds, branches, flowers, and trees, making it a pastoral poem and also removing the beauty of the urn as its true beauty lies within its simplicity. Going into more specifics, line 16 provides some insight into the logic of the speaker as trees cannot indeed be bare for the trees are forever the same on the urn. Lines 21-22 also uses personification as the tree branches, or "boughs," are made to be "happy," never saying goodbye, to the spring. Line 43 has the speaker use one last time image of "forest branches and the trodden weed," to evoke suffocation instead of inspiration that the images first drew.

The meter within the poem is iambic pentameter. The rhyme scheme is honestly idiosyncratic, which one might expect from someone experienced in writing sonnets. The first four lines of each stanza follow the pattern of ABAB, and with the exception of the last stanza, are set thematically apart from the other parts of the stanza. Thus, in the first part of the poem, the beginning stanza, the first four lines concern the urn and complement its storytelling abilities, and then start the process of imagining what story it is attempting to express. Consequently, the next six lines go CDE, with variation of CDE. For instance, in stanza II, the variation is: CDE, CED.

Regardless however many more variations the speaker makes in tone and imagery, the change truly shows within the speaker himself. He first appears too good, falling in love with an urn, however what he really fell in love with was the urn symbolized. The urn symbolizes an eternal love, a…

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