Essay on Charlotte Smith’s Elegiac Sonnets

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In Charlotte Smith’s Elegiac Sonnets, Smith uses nature as a vehicle to express her complex emotions and yearning for a renewal of her spirit. Utilizing the immortal characteristics of spring and the tempestuous nature of the ocean, Smith creates a poetic world that is both a comfort and a hindrance to her tortured soul. Even while spring can provide her with temporary solace and the ocean is a friend in her sorrow, both parts of nature constantly remind her of something that she will never be able to accomplish: the renewal of her anguished spirit and complete happiness in life once more. Through three of her sonnets in this collection, Smith connects with the different parts of nature and displays her sensible temperament with her envy …show more content…
The flowers that were once dead come back just as bright and beautiful as the year before, while human beings grow older and more heartbroken with each successive year. She uses the final couplet to question her audience with something that perplexes her: “Another May new buds and flowers shall bring; Ah why has happiness- no second spring?” (“Close of Spring” 13-14). Smith not only wonders why humans cannot renew themselves as easily as nature can, but also why we are unable to renew our emotions. Once you lose happiness, it is not that simple and easy to obtain it back. In this way, Smith believes that her happiness is no longer able to return to her; it has died for good. The season of spring is a brilliant vehicle to express your sensibility through. Unlike her poem “Written at the close of Spring,” Smith’s poem, “To Spring,” is written to Spring itself while it is in its full glory. Nature comes alive in this poem: “where the young leaves, unfolding, scarce conceal beneath their early shade, the half-form’d nest of finch or woodlark” (“To Spring” 4-5). Spring has just arrived and all parts of nature are feeling its effects. The birds are having children, the leaves are coming back on the trees, and all the flowers are blooming. “Ah! season of delight!- could aught be found to soothe awhile the tortured bosom’s pain” (“To Spring” 8-9) The world is just a delightful and, more importantly, alive place. Smith sees this

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