The Romantic Lyric is defined by many varying qualities including a focus on “nature […] wild and untamed natural settings”, “rejection of reason as the organizing principle for art and society”, and an urge to “valorize the ordinary individual” (322). Romantic poets turned “away from the manners and artifices of social life” and instead “celebrated the beauties of the vast skies and towering mountains” (322) because the were tired of the looming pressures that the Industrial Revolution had brought to cities. The value of the natural world became increasingly evident as the cities grew more crowded and expanded, transportation links sprouted up across the countryside and pollution became more of an issue. Many of the Romantic poets had experienced “oppressive regime[s]” (324) and rejected the idea of those dictatorial leaders in favor of the wonders of the common people. These are, to me, the most ‘across the board’ qualities of Romantic poetry, but there are many other common traits of the movement which include a fascination with ruins and ancient cultures, interest in the exotic, contemplation of death and mortality, and intentional obscurity so that the reader may glean their own meaning from the poem.
2. Analyze Keats’s “Ode to a Nightingale” (p. 411-413).
-What is this poem about? Explain how you developed your interpretation.
-What is the tone or mood of the poem?
-What kind of imagery do we see in this poem? -What is your favorite line from this poem? Why?…