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Emily Dickinson & Romanticism
 

Emily Dickinson & Romanticism

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  • INTRODUCTION Romanticism has very little to do with things popularly thought of as "romantic," although love may occasionally be the subject of Romantic art. Rather, it is an international artistic and philosophical movement that redefined the fundamental ways in which people in Western cultures thought about themselves and about their world. The European Romantic movement that took place in the late eighteenth century, reached America in the early nineteenth century. Emily Dickinson’s birth in 1830, coincided with what is now called “The Romantic Period in American Literature” (1830 - 1865) American Romanticism was just as multifaceted and individualistic as it was in Europe. However, in early nineteenth century America, Puritanism and Transcendentalisim produced in Dickinson, a tension that can be traced in both her poems and letters.
  • SLIDE 2 Emily Dickinson’s birth in 1830, coincided with what is now called “The Romantic Period in American Literature” (1830 - 1865) American Romanticism was just as multifaceted and individualistic as it was in Europe. However, in early nineteenth century America, Puritanism and Transcendentalisim produced in Dickinson, a tension that can be traced in both her poems and letters. It has troubled some readers that Marianne Moore never included Emily Dickinson among her influences. But Moore had little exposure to Dickinson before the publication of The Single Hound in 1914, just months before her own poems began to appear in print. By 1924 Moore had come to appreciate Dickinson enough to be flattered by comparisons with her. By 1932, when she wrote a review of Dickinson's letters, Moore was less in need of literary models than of personal ones. Dickinson became for her a model of personal and artistic integrity, one she willingly proferred to the next generation of poets
  • Classicism and Neo-Classicism
  • ROMANTIC PERIOD IN ENGLISH LITERATURE: 1798-1870 LYRIC BALLADS In the period between the publication of Lyrical Ballads (1798) and the death of Dickens, English literature was dominated by the spirit of ROMANTICISM. One commonly used way for designating literary periods in English history is to call the AGE OF THE ROMANTIC TRIUMPH (1798- 1832) the Romantic Period and to lump together the time between the death of Scott in 1832 and the end of the century as the VICTORIAN AGE, since Queen Victoria reigned through much of it. However, the romantic impulse which flowered with such spectacular force in 1798 remained the dominant literary impulse well into the 1860’s; hence the divisions employed in this Handbook (See REALISTIC PERIOD IN ENGLISH LITERATURE.) The Romantic Period came into being during the Napoleonic Wars, and flourished during the painful economic dislocations, which were their aftermath. It saw union with Ireland; it witnessed the suffering which was attendant upon the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION; it was torn by CHARTISM and the great debates centering around the REFORM BILL; it developed a sensitive humanitarianism out of witnessing the suffering of the masses; it both espoused and despised the doctrine of UTILITARIANISM. An industrial England was being born in pain and suffering. The throes of developing democracy, the ugliness of the sudden growth of cities, the prevalence of human pain, the blatant presence of the “profit motive” –– all helped to characterize what was in many respects “the best of times … the worst of times.” In the first half of the period, during the AGE OF THE ROMANTIC TRIUMPH, a philosophical ROMANTICISM based on value in the individual, on the romantic view of NATURE, and on an organic concept of art dominated the English literary mind. Optimism was the spirit of the times, although it was often an optimism closely associated with the impulse to revolt and with radical political reform. In the second half of the period, the EARLY VICTORIAN AGE, the impact of the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION was more immediately felt and the implications of the new science upon philosophy and religious belief began to be obvious. The romantic philosophy still held, and the spirit of ROMANTICISM permeated literature and much of life, but it found itself seriously in conflict with much of the world it saw around it, and out of that conflict came a literature of doubt and questioning. If, for example, the attitudes of Coleridge and Shelley are compared with those of Carlyle –– all three clearly romantics–– the extent to which ROMANTICISM of the earlier period was being qualified by the conditions of the industrial England and was being used to test those conditions become obvious. In POETRY the Romantic Period was a “golden age,” rich with the sonorous voices of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Tennyson, Arnold, and the Pre-Raphaelites, and enlivened by the harsher tone of Browning. It was a great age for the NOVEL producing Godwin, Scott, Austen, the Bronte’s, Thackeray, Dickens, Trollope, and the early George Eliot. A period of serious critical and social debate in the ESSAY, it produced Carlyle, Ruskin, Macaulay, Arnold, and Newman. In the INFORMAL ESSAY, it produced Lamb, Hazlitt, Hunt, and De Quincey. Only the DRAMA, bound by the PATENT THEATRES and a blind idolatry of Shakespeare and hampered by the “star” system, did the Romantic Period fail to produce work of true distinction; it was the weakest period in the English stage since Elizabeth I ascended the throne. For the literary history of the period, see AGE OF ROMANTIC TRIUMPH, EARLY VICTORIAN AGE, and Outline of Literary History. See, also, ROMANTICISM.
  • At one point they planned to write works in tandem, but nothing came of this scheme beyond Wordsworth's suggesting a few plot ideas for Coleridge's long narrative poem ‘The rime of the Ancient Mariner’. None of the twenty-three poems contained in their collaborative venture, Lyrical Ballads, which they chose to present anonymously, was a product of joint authorship. Besides ‘The Ancient Mariner’, Coleridge contributed ‘The Nightingale’ (subtitled ‘a conversational poem’) and two brief extracts from his verse tragedy Osorio (eventually retitled Remorse and not performed until 1813). Everything else was written by Wordsworth. ‘Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey’, the superb Wordsworthian effusion with which the volume concludes, was a late addition to the manuscript submitted to Coleridge's friend, the Bristol bookseller and publisher Joseph Cottle.
  • ROMANTIC PERIOD IN ENGLISH LITERATURE: 1798-1870 In the period between the publication of Lyrical Ballads (1798) and the death of Dickens, English literature was dominated by the spirit of ROMANTICISM. One commonly used way for designating literary periods in English history is to call the AGE OF THE ROMANTIC TRIUMPH (1798- 1832) the Romantic Period and to lump together the time between the death of Scott in 1832 and the end of the century as the VICTORIAN AGE, since Queen Victoria reigned through much of it. However, the romantic impulse which flowered with such spectacular force in 1798 remained the dominant literary impulse well into the 1860’s; hence the divisions employed in this Handbook (See REALISTIC PERIOD IN ENGLISH LITERATURE.) The Romantic Period came into being during the Napoleonic Wars, and flourished during the painful economic dislocations, which were their aftermath. It saw union with Ireland; it witnessed the suffering which was attendant upon the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION; it was torn by CHARTISM and the great debates centering around the REFORM BILL; it developed a sensitive humanitarianism out of witnessing the suffering of the masses; it both espoused and despised the doctrine of UTILITARIANISM. An industrial England was being born in pain and suffering. The throes of developing democracy, the ugliness of the sudden growth of cities, the prevalence of human pain, the blatant presence of the “profit motive” –– all helped to characterize what was in many respects “the best of times … the worst of times.” In the first half of the period, during the AGE OF THE ROMANTIC TRIUMPH, a philosophical ROMANTICISM based on value in the individual, on the romantic view of NATURE, and on an organic concept of art dominated the English literary mind. Optimism was the spirit of the times, although it was often an optimism closely associated with the impulse to revolt and with radical political reform. In the second half of the period, the EARLY VICTORIAN AGE, the impact of the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION was more immediately felt and the implications of the new science upon philosophy and religious belief began to be obvious. The romantic philosophy still held, and the spirit of ROMANTICISM permeated literature and much of life, but it found itself seriously in conflict with much of the world it saw around it, and out of that conflict came a literature of doubt and questioning. If, for example, the attitudes of Coleridge and Shelley are compared with those of Carlyle –– all three clearly romantics–– the extent to which ROMANTICISM of the earlier period was being qualified by the conditions of the industrial England and was being used to test those conditions become obvious. In POETRY the Romantic Period was a “golden age,” rich with the sonorous voices of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Tennyson, Arnold, and the Pre-Raphaelites, and enlivened by the harsher tone of Browning. It was a great age for the NOVEL producing Godwin, Scott, Austen, the Bronte’s, Thackeray, Dickens, Trollope, and the early George Eliot. A period of serious critical and social debate in the ESSAY, it produced Carlyle, Ruskin, Macaulay, Arnold, and Newman. In the INFORMAL ESSAY, it produced Lamb, Hazlitt, Hunt, and De Quincey. Only the DRAMA, bound by the PATENT THEATRES and a blind idolatry of Shakespeare and hampered by the “star” system, did the Romantic Period fail to produce work of true distinction; it was the weakest period in the English stage since Elizabeth I ascended the throne. For the literary history of the period, see AGE OF ROMANTIC TRIUMPH, EARLY VICTORIAN AGE, and Outline of Literary History. See, also, ROMANTICISM.
  • ROMANTIC PERIOD IN ENGLISH LITERATURE: 1798-1870 LYRIC BALLADS Despite not enjoying the name recognition or popular acclaim that Wordsworth or Shelley have had, Coleridge is one of the most important figures in English poetry. His poems directly and deeply influenced all th major poets of the age. He was known by his contemporaries as a meticulous craftsman who was more rigorous in his careful reworking of his poems than any other poet, and Southey and Wordsworth were d ependent on his professional advice. His influence on Wordsworth is particularly important because many critics have credited Coleridge with the very idea of "Conversational Poetry". The idea of utilizing common, everyday language to express profound poetic images and ideas for which Wordsworth became so famous may have originated almost entirely in Coleridge’s mind. It is difficult to imagine Wordsworth’s great poems, The Excursion or The Prelude, ever having been written without the direct influence of Coleridge’s originality. In the period between the publication of Lyrical Ballads (1798) and the death of Dickens, English literature was dominated by the spirit of ROMANTICISM. One commonly used way for designating literary periods in English history is to call the AGE OF THE ROMANTIC TRIUMPH (1798- 1832) the Romantic Period and to lump together the time between the death of Scott in 1832 and the end of the century as the VICTORIAN AGE, since Queen Victoria reigned through much of it. However, the romantic impulse which flowered with such spectacular force in 1798 remained the dominant literary impulse well into the 1860’s; hence the divisions employed in this Handbook (See REALISTIC PERIOD IN ENGLISH LITERATURE.) The Romantic Period came into being during the Napoleonic Wars, and flourished during the painful economic dislocations, which were their aftermath. It saw union with Ireland; it witnessed the suffering which was attendant upon the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION; it was torn by CHARTISM and the great debates centering around the REFORM BILL; it developed a sensitive humanitarianism out of witnessing the suffering of the masses; it both espoused and despised the doctrine of UTILITARIANISM. An industrial England was being born in pain and suffering. The throes of developing democracy, the ugliness of the sudden growth of cities, the prevalence of human pain, the blatant presence of the “profit motive” –– all helped to characterize what was in many respects “the best of times … the worst of times.” In the first half of the period, during the AGE OF THE ROMANTIC TRIUMPH, a philosophical ROMANTICISM based on value in the individual, on the romantic view of NATURE, and on an organic concept of art dominated the English literary mind. Optimism was the spirit of the times, although it was often an optimism closely associated with the impulse to revolt and with radical political reform. In the second half of the period, the EARLY VICTORIAN AGE, the impact of the INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION was more immediately felt and the implications of the new science upon philosophy and religious belief began to be obvious. The romantic philosophy still held, and the spirit of ROMANTICISM permeated literature and much of life, but it found itself seriously in conflict with much of the world it saw around it, and out of that conflict came a literature of doubt and questioning. If, for example, the attitudes of Coleridge and Shelley are compared with those of Carlyle –– all three clearly romantics–– the extent to which ROMANTICISM of the earlier period was being qualified by the conditions of the industrial England and was being used to test those conditions become obvious. In POETRY the Romantic Period was a “golden age,” rich with the sonorous voices of Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Byron, Tennyson, Arnold, and the Pre-Raphaelites, and enlivened by the harsher tone of Browning. It was a great age for the NOVEL producing Godwin, Scott, Austen, the Bronte’s, Thackeray, Dickens, Trollope, and the early George Eliot. A period of serious critical and social debate in the ESSAY, it produced Carlyle, Ruskin, Macaulay, Arnold, and Newman. In the INFORMAL ESSAY, it produced Lamb, Hazlitt, Hunt, and De Quincey. Only the DRAMA, bound by the PATENT THEATRES and a blind idolatry of Shakespeare and hampered by the “star” system, did the Romantic Period fail to produce work of true distinction; it was the weakest period in the English stage since Elizabeth I ascended the throne. For the literary history of the period, see AGE OF ROMANTIC TRIUMPH, EARLY VICTORIAN AGE, and Outline of Literary History. See, also, ROMANTICISM.
  • Brook Farm: A celebrated nineteenth-century New England utopian community, was founded by Unitarian minister George Ripley and other progressive, Transcendentalist Unitarians, to be, in Ripley's words, a new Jerusalem, the "city of God, anew." From its founding in 1841 until it went bankrupt in 1847, Brook Farm influenced many of the social reform movements of its day: abolitionism, associationalism, the workingmen's movement, and the women's rights movement. It represented both a test of Transcendentalist dreams and a challenge to Transcendentalist individualism. Tintern Abbey: "Tintern Abbey" is a poem of re-visitation, both to the central themes of the Advertisement, and to nature itself. Wordsworth returns to the abbey after a five-year absence, having changed so much that "I cannot paint / What then I was",[2] having then had no knowledge of the sublime, and no "feeling" towards nature. To emphasize the reminiscent quality of the poem, he uses the word "again" repeatedly. The poem has its roots in history. Accompanied by his sister Dorothy (whom he addresses warmly in the final paragraph as "thou my dearest Friend, / My dear, dear Friend"[3]), Wordsworth did indeed revisit the abbey on the date stipulated after half a decade's absence. His previous visit had been on a solitary walking tour as a twenty-three-year-old in August 1793. His life had since taken a considerable turn: he had split with his French lover and their bastard daughter, while on a broader note Anglo-French tensions had escalated to such an extent that Britain would declare war later that year. The Wye, on the other hand, had remained much the same, according the poet opportunity for contrast. A large portion of the poem explores the impact of preterition, contrasting the obviousness of it in the visitor with its seamlessness in the visited. This theme is emphasized from the start in the line "Five years have passed..."[4] Although written in 1798, the poem is in large part a recollection of Wordsworth's visit of 1793. It also harks back in the imagination to a time when the abbey was not in ruins, and dwells occasionally on the present and the future as well. The speaker admits to having reminisced about the place many times in the past five years. Notably, the abbey itself is nowhere described. Wordsworth claimed to have composed the poem entirely in his head, beginning it upon leaving Tintern and crossing the Wye, and not jotting so much as a line until he reached Bristol, by which time it had just reached mental completion. In all, it took him four to five days' rambling about with his sister.[5] Although Lyrical Ballads was by then already in publication, he was so pleased with this offering that he had it inserted at the eleventh hour, as the concluding poem. It is unknown whether this placement was intentional, but scholars generally agree that it is apt, for the poem represents the climax of Wordsworth's first great period of creative output and prefigures much of the distinctively Wordsworthian verse that followed. Although never overt, the poem is riddled with religion, most of it pantheistic. Wordsworth styles himself as a "worshipper of Nature" with a "far deeper zeal / Of holier love",[6] seeming to hold that mental images of nature can engender a mystical intuition of the divine.
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • In his early writing, Rousseau contended that man is essentially good, a "noble savage" when in the "state of nature" (the state of all the other animals, and the condition man was in before the creation of civilization and society), and that good people are made unhappy and corrupted by their experiences in society. He viewed society as "artificial" and "corrupt" and that the furthering of society results in the continuing unhappiness of man. Rousseau's essay, "Discourse on the Arts and Sciences" (1750), argued that the advancement of art and science had not been beneficial to mankind. He proposed that the progress of knowledge had made governments more powerful, and crushed individual liberty. He concluded that material progress had actually undermined the possibility of sincere friendship, replacing it with jealousy, fear and suspicion. Perhaps Rousseau's most important work is "The Social Contract" that describes the relationship of man with society. Contrary to his earlier work, Rousseau claimed that the state of nature is brutish condition without law or morality, and that there are good men only a result of society's presence. In the state of nature, man is prone to be in frequent competition with his fellow men. Because he can be more successful facing threats by joining with other men, he has the impetus to do so. He joins together with his fellow men to form the collective human presence known as "society." "The Social Contract" is the "compact" agreed to among men that sets the conditions for membership in society. Rousseau was one of the first modern writers to seriously attack the institution of private property, and therefore is considered a forebear of modern socialism and Communism (see Karl Marx). Rousseau also questioned the assumption that the will of the majority is always correct. He argued that the goal of government should be to secure freedom, equality, and justice for all within the state, regardless of the will of the majority. One of the primary principles of Rousseau's political philosophy is that politics and morality should not be separated. When a state fails to act in a moral fashion, it ceases to function in the proper manner and ceases to exert genuine authority over the individual. The second important principle is freedom, which the state is created to preserve. Rousseau's ideas about education have profoundly influenced modern educational theory. He minimizes the importance of book learning, and recommends that a child's emotions should be educated before his reason. He placed a special emphasis on learning by experience. ˇ˝ ˇ˝ ˇ˝ ˇ˝
  • Influence of European Romanticism on American writers The European Romantic movement that took place in the late eighteenth century reached America in the early nineteenth century. American Romanticism was just as multifaceted and individualistic as it was in Europe.[citation needed] ...Romantics frequently shared certain general characteristics: moral enthusiasm, faith in the value of individualism and intuitive perception, and a presumption that the natural world is a source of goodness and human society a source of corruption.[citation needed] Romanticism became popular in American politics, philosophy and art. The movement appealed to the revolutionary spirit of America as well as to those longing to break free of the strict religious traditions of early settlement. The Romantics rejected rationalism and religious intellect. It appealed to those in opposition of Calvinism, which involved the belief that the universe and all the events within it are subject to the power of God. The Romantic movement gave rise to New England Transcendentalism which portrayed a less restrictive relationship between God and Universe. The new religion presented the individual with a more personal relationship with God. Transcendentalism and Romanticism appealed to Americans in a similar fashion. As a moral philosophy, transcendentalism was neither logical nor systemized. It exalted feeling over reason, individual expression over the restraints of law and custom. It appealed to those who disdained the harsh God of their Puritan ancestors, and it appealed to those who scorned the pale deity of New England Unitarianism....[]...They spoke for cultural rejuvenation and against the materialism of American society. They believed in the transcendence of the "Oversoul", an all-pervading power for goodness from which all things come and of which all things are parts.[citation needed] American Romance embraced the individual and rebelled against the confinement of neoclassicism and religious tradition. The Romantic movement in America created a new literary genre that continues to influence modern writers. Novels, short stories, and poems began to take the place of the sermons and manifestos that were associated with the early American literary principals. Romantic literature was personal, intense, and portrayed more emotion than ever seen in neoclassical literature. America's preoccupation with freedom became a great source of motivation for Romantic writers as many were delighted in free expression and emotion without so much fear of ridicule and controversy. They also put more effort into the psychological development of their characters. "Heroes and heroines exhibited extremes of sensitivity and excitement"[citation needed] One of Romanticism's key ideas and most enduring legacies is the assertion of nationalism, which became a central theme of Romantic art and political philosophy. From the earliest parts of the movement, with their focus on development of national languages and folklore, and the importance of local customs and traditions, to the movements which would redraw the map of Europe and lead to calls for self-determination of nationalities, nationalism was one of the key vehicles of Romanticism, its role, expression and meaning. Early Romantic nationalism was strongly inspired by Rousseau, and by the ideas of Johann Gottfried von Herder, who in 1784 argued that the geography formed the natural economy of a people, and shaped their customs and society. The nature of nationalism changed dramatically, however, after the French Revolution with the rise of Napoleon, and the reactions in other nations. Napoleonic nationalism and republicanism were, at first, inspirational to movements in other nations: self-determination and a consciousness of national unity were held to be two of the reasons why France was able to defeat other countries in battle. But as the French Republic became Napoleon's Empire, Napoleon became not the inspiration for nationalism, but the object of its struggle. In Prussia, the development of spiritual renewal as a means to engage in the struggle against Napoleon was argued by, among others, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a disciple of Kant. The word Volkstum, or nationality, was coined in German as part of this resistance to the now conquering emperor. Fichte expressed the unity of language and nation in his address "To the German Nation" in 1806: Akseli Gallen-Kallela, The Forging of the Sampo, 1893. An artist from Finland deriving inspiration from the compilation the Kalevala. English: Painting by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, depicting a scene from Kalevala, a Finnish epic poem. Smith Ilmarinen is forging the magical mill called Sampo, a centerpiece in many of Kalevala's stories. See also the page at the Finnish National Gallery website. Those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself, long before any human art begins; they understand each other and have the power of continuing to make themselves understood more and more clearly; they belong together and are by nature one and an inseparable whole. ...Only when each people, left to itself, develops and forms itself in accordance with its own peculiar quality, and only when in every people each individual develops himself in accordance with that common quality, as well as in accordance with his own peculiar quality—then, and then only, does the manifestation of divinity appear in its true mirror as it ought to be. This view of nationalism inspired the collection of folklore by such people as the Brothers Grimm, the revival of old epics as national, and the construction of new epics as if they were old, as in the Kalevala, compiled from Finnish tales and folklore, or Ossian, where the claimed ancient roots were invented. The view that fairy tales, unless contaminated from outside literary sources, were preserved in the same form over thousands of years, was not exclusive to Romantic Nationalists, but fit in well with their views that such tales expressed the primordial nature of a people. For instance, the Brothers Grimm rejected many tales they collected because of their similarity to tales by Charles Perrault, which they thought proved they were not truly German tales; Sleeping Beauty survived in their collection because the tale of Brynhildr convinced them that the figure of the sleeping princess was authentically German. Romanticism played an essential role in the national awakening of many Central European peoples lacking their own national states, not least in Poland, which had recently lost its independence when Russia's army crushed the Polish Rebellion under Nicholas I. Revival and reinterpretation of ancient myths, customs and traditions by Romantic poets and painters helped to distinguish their indigenous cultures from those of the dominant nations and crystallise the mythography of Romantic nationalism. Patriotism, nationalism, revolution and armed struggle for independence also became popular themes in the arts of this period. Arguably, the most distinguished Romantic poet of this part of Europe was Adam Mickiewicz, who developed an idea that Poland was the Messiah of Nations, predestined to suffer just as Jesus had suffered to save all the people. ROMANTIC PERIOD IN AMERICAN LITERATURE: 1830-1865 The period between the “second revolution” of the Jacksonian Era and the close of the Civil War in America saw the testing of the American nation and its development by ordeal. It was an age of great westward expansion, of the increasing gravity of the slavery question, of an intensification of the spirit of embattled sectionalism in the South, of a powerful impulse to reform in the North. Its culminating act was the trial by arms of the opposing views of the two sections in a Civil War, whose conclusion certified the fact of a united nation dedicated to the concepts of industry and capitalism and philosophically committed to the doctrine of absolute egalitarianism. In a sense it may be said that the three decades following the inauguration of Andrew Jackson as president in 1829 put to the test his views of democracy and saw emerge from the test a secure union committed to essentially Jacksonian principles. In literature it was America’s first great creative period, a full flowering of the romantic impulse on American soil. Surviving from the FEDERALIST AGE were its three major literary figures; Bryant, Irving and Cooper. Emerging as new writers of strength and creative power were the novelists Hawthorne, Simms, Melville, and Mrs. Stowe; the poets Poe, Whittier, Longfellow, Lowell, and Whitman; the essayists and poets Thoreau, Emerson, Holmes; the critics Poe, Lowell, and Simms. The South, moving toward a concept of Southern independence, advanced three distinguished periodicals, the Southern Review, the Southern Literary Messenger, and the Southern Quarterly Review. In the North the Knickerbockers Magazine and the Democratic Review joined the continuing arbiter of Northern taste, the North American Review, and then were followed by Harper’s Magazine (1850) and the Atlantic Monthly (1857). Between 1830 and 1855 the GIFT BOOKS and ANNUALS proved to be remunerative markets for ESSAYS AND TALES. The POETRY of the period was predominantly romantic in spirit and form. Moral qualities were significantly present in the VERSE of Emerson, Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, and Thoreau. The sectional issues were debated in POETRY by Whittier and Lowell speaking for abolition, and Timrod, Hayne, and Simms speaking for the South. Poe formulated his Aristotelian theory of POETRY and in some fifty LYRICS practiced a symbolist VERSE that was to be, despite the charge of triviality by such contemporaries as Emerson, the strongest single poetic influence emerging from pre-Civil War America, particularly in its impact on European POETRY. Lowell wrote satiric VERSE IN DIALICT. Whitman, beginning with the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass was the ultimate expression in America of a POETRY organic in form and romantic in spirit, united to a concept of democracy that was pervasively egalitarian. In the ESSAY and on the lecture platform the New England transcendentalists –– Emerson, Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and Alcott –– carried the literary expression of philosophic and religious ideas to a high level. In critical ESSAYS, Lowell wrote with distinction, Simms with skill, and Poe with genius. Until 1850 the NOVEL continued to follow the path of Scott, with Cooper and Simms as its major producers. In the 1850’s, however, emerged the powerful symbolic NOVELS of Hawthorne and Melville, and the effective PROPAGANDA NOVEL of Mrs. Stowe. Poe, Hawthorne, and Simms practiced the writing of SHORT STORIES throughout the period, taking up where Irving had left off in the development of the form. Humorous writing by A.B. Longstreet, George W. Harris, Artemus Ward, Josh Billings, and the early Mark Twain was establishing a basis for a realistic literature in the language of the common man, but it failed in this period to receive the critical attention it was later to have. In the DRAMA the “star” system, the imitation of English “spectacle” DRAMA, and ROMANTIC TRADGEDY modeled on Shakespeare were dominant. Although N. P. Willis and R.M. Bird were successful dramatists, only George Henry Boker, with his Francesca da Rimini, displayed any distinctive literary talent in the theatre. Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Rip Van Winkle began stage careers that were to be phenomenenally successful. At the end of the Civil War a new nation had been born in the ordeal of war, and it was to demand and receive a new literature less idealistic and more practical, less exalted and more earthly, less consciously artistic and more direct than that produced in the age when the American dream had glowed with the greatest intensity and American writers had made a great literary period by capturing on their pages the enthusiasm and the optimism of that dream. See Outline of Literary History.
  • METAPHYSICAL POETRY Sometimes used in the broad sense of philosophical POETRY, VERSE dealing with metaphysics, POETRY unified by a philosophical conception of the universe and of the role of assigned to the human spirit in the great drama of existence” (H.J.C. Grierson). In this sense Lucretius and Dante wrote metaphysical poetry. Herbert Read sees it as the “emotional apprehension of thought,” felt thought, to be contrasted with the LYRIC, and regards some of the poetry of Chapman and Wordsworth, as well as that of John Donne and his followers, as metaphysical. Commonly, however, the term is used to designate the work of the seventeenth-century writers referred to as the “Metaphysical Poets.” They formed a school in the sense of employing similar methods and of being actuated by a spirit of revolt against the romantic conventionalism of Elizabethan love poetry, in particular the PETRARCHAN CONCEIT. Their tendency toward psychological analysis of the emotions of love and religion, their penchant for the novel and the shocking, their use of the METAPHYSICAL CONCEIT, and the extremes to which they sometimes carried their techniques resulted frequently in obscurity, rough VERSE, and strained IMAGERY. These faults gave them a bad reputation, in the NEW-CLASSIC PERIOD. However, there has been a twentieth-century revival of interest in their work and admiration of their accomplishments. Consequently the reader will find the word metaphysical used in both a derogatory and a complimentary sense. The characterizes of the best metaphysical poetry are logical elements in a technique intended to express honestly, if unconventionally, the poet’s sense of the complexities and contradictions of life. The poetry is intellectual, analytical, psychological, disillusioning, bold; absorbed in thoughts of death, physical love, religious devotion. The DICTION is simple as compared with that of the ELIZABETHAN or the NEO-CLASSICAL PERIODS, and echoes the words and the cadences of common speech. The IMAGERY is drawn from the commonplace or the remote, actual life or erudite sources, the figure itself often being elaborated with self-conscious ingenuity. The FORM is frequently that of an argument with the poet’s lover, with God, or with himself. The metaphysical poets wrote of God and of theology, of the court and of the church, of love and of nature –– often elaborately –– but usually with a high regard for FORM and the more intricate subtleties of METER and RHYME. Yet the VERSE is often intentionally rough; Ben Jonson thought Donne “deserved hanging” for not observing ACCENT. The roughness may be explained in part by the dominance of thought over strict FORM, in part by the fact that ruggedness or irregularity of movement goes naturally with a sense of the seriousness and perplexity of life, with the realistic method, with the spirit of revolt, and with the sense of an argument expressed in speech rather than SONG. If the results of the metaphysical manner are not always happy, if the unexpected details and surprising figures are not always integrated imaginatively and emotionally, it must be remembered that POETS were attempting a more difficult task than confronts the complacent writer of conventional VERSE. Their failures appear most strikingly in their fantastic METAPHYSICAL CONCEITS When they succeed_ as they often do__ their poetry, arising out of their own sense of incongruity and confusion, is an effective “emotional apprehension of thought,” hauntingly real to us in our perplexing world. The term metaphysical was applied to Donne in derogation of his excessive use of philosophy by Dryden in 1693, but its present use to designate a special poetic manner originated with Samuel Johnson’s description of metaphysical poetry in his “Life of Cowley.” No exact list of metaphysical poets can be drawn up. Donne was the acknowledged leader. Crashaw and Cowley have been called the most typically metaphysical. Some were Protestant religious mystics, like Herbert, Vaughan, and Traherne; some Catholic, like Crashaw; some were CAVALIER LYRISTS, like Carew and Lovelace; some were satirists, like Donne and Cleveland; one was an American clergyman, Edward Talor. The new recognition that has come to the metaphysical poets has arisen from a realization of the seriousness of their art, an interest in their spirit of revolt, their REALISM; their intellectualism, and other affinities with modern interests, as well as from the fact that they produced some fine poetry, T.S. Eliot, John Crowe Ransom, and Allen Tate are modern poets affected by the metaphysical influence. See CONCEIT, METAPHYSICAL CONCEIT, CONTROLLING IMAGE, BAROQUE, MARINISM.
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • TRANSCENDENTALISM he movement grained it impetus in America in part from meetings of a small group which came together to discuss the “new thought” of the time. While holding different opinions about many things, the group seemed in general harmony in their convictions that within the nature of man there was a something which transcended human experience –– an intuitive and personal revelation. Variously called the Symposium Club and the HEDGE CLUB, the group was soon known as the TRANSCENDENTAL CLUB because of the ideas advanced by its members. As the “movement” developed, it sponsored two important activities: the publication of THE DIAL from 1840-1844 and BROOK FARM. Some of the various doctrines which one or another of the American transcendentalists promulgated and which have somehow been accepted as “transcendental” may be restated here. They believed in living close to nature (Thoreau) and taught the dignity of manual labor (Thoreau). They strongly felt the need of intellectual companionships and interests (BROOK FARM) and placed great emphasis on the importance of spiritual living. Man’s relationship to God was a personal matter and was to be established directly by the individual himself (UNITARIANISM) rather than through the intermediation of the ritualism church. They held firmly that man was divine in his own right, an opinion opposed to the doctrines held by the Puritan Calvinists in New England, and they urged strongly the essential divinity of man and one great brotherhood. Self-trust and self-reliance were to be practiced at all times and on all occasions, since to trust self was really to trust the voice of God speaking intuitively within us (Emerson). The transcendentalists felt called upon to resist the “vulgar prosperity of the barbarian,” believed firmly in democracy, and insisted on an intense individualism. Some of the extremists in their number went so far as to evoke a system of dietetics and to rule out coffee, wine and tobacco –– all on the basis that the body was a temple of the soul and that for the tenant’s sake it was well to keep the dwelling undefiled. And most of the transcendentalists were by nature reformers, though Emerson –– the most vocal interpreter of the group –– refused to go so far in this direction as, for instance, Bronson Alcott. Emerson’s position here is that it is man’s responsibility to be “a brave and upright man, who must find or cut a straight path to everything excellent in the earth, and not only go honorably himself, but make it easier for all who follow him to go in honor and with benefit.” In this way most of the reforms were attempts to awaken and regenerate the human spirit rather than to prescribe particular and concrete movements which were to be fostered. The transcendentalists were, for instance, among the early advocates of the enfranchisement of women. Ultimately, despite these practical manifestations, transcendentalism was an epistemology, a way of knowing, and the ultimate characteristics that tied together the frequently contradictory attitudes of the loosely formed group called “The Transcendentalists” was the belief that man can intuitively transcend the limits of the senses and of logic and receive directly higher truths and greater knowledge denied to these mundane methods of knowing. Among the most famous of the transcendental leaders, in addition to Emerson, Thoreau, and Bronson Alcott, were Margaret Fuller, George Ripley, F. H. Hedge, James Freeman Clar,. Elizabeth Peabody, Theodore Parker, Jones Very, and W.H. Channing. But the arch-advocates in literature of most that the transcendentalists stood were Emerson and Thoreau; and the two documents which most definitely give literary expression to their views are Emerson’s Nature (1832) and Thoreau’s Walden (1854).
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • In this sense, naturalism shares with Romanticism a belief that the actual is important not in itself but in what it can reveal about the nature of a larger reality; it differs sharply with Romanticism, however, in finding that reality not in transcendent ideas or absolute ideals but in the scientific laws which can be perceived through the action of the individual instances. This distinction may be illustrated in this way. Given a bloc of wood and a force pushing upon it, producing in it a certain acceleration: Realism will tend to concentrate its attention on the accurate description of that particular block, the force, and the acceleration – often with complete fidelity to fact –– that the idea or ideal In this sense, naturalism shares with Romanticism a belief that the actual is important not in itself but in what it can reveal about the nature of a larger reality; it differs sharply with Romanticism, however, in finding that reality not in transcendent ideas or absolute ideals but in the scientific laws which can be perceived through the action of the individual instances. This distinction may be illustrated in this way. Given a bloc of wood and a force pushing upon it, producing in it a certain acceleration: Realism will tend to concentrate its attention on the accurate description of that particular block, the force, and the acceleration – often with complete fidelity to fact –– that the idea or ideal
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • REALISM The realist espouses what is essentially a MIMETIC THEORY OF ART, centering his attention in the thing imitated and asking for something close to a one-to-one correspondence between the representation and the subject. He usually has, however, a powerful interest in the audience to whom his work is addressed, feeling it to be his obligation to deal with it with absolute truthfulness. Furthermore, the realist is unusually interested in the effect his work has on the audience and its life in this respect he tends toward a PRAGMATIC THEORY OF ART); George Eliot, in Chapter XVII of Adam Bede (a classic statement of the intention of the realist), expresses her desire that her pictures of common life and average experience should knit more tightly the bonds of human sympathy among her readers. Howells, concerned with this audience of young ladies, felt so strongly the obligation not to do them moral injury that he shut the doors of his own works to most of the aspects of life connected with passion and sex. The realist eschews the traditional patterns of the NOVEL. In part the rise of realism came as a protest against the falseness and sentimentality which the realist thought he saw in romantic FICTION. Life, he felt, lacked symmetry and PLOT; FICTION which truthfully reflected life should, therefore, avoid symmetry and PLOT. Simple, clear, direct prose was the desirable vehicle, and objectivity on the part of the novelist the proper attitude. The central issues of life tend to be ethical –– that is, issues of conduct. FICTION should, therefore, concern itself with such issues, and –– since selection is a necessary part of any art x—select with a view to presenting these issues accurately as they affect man and women in actual situations. Furthermore, the democratic attitudes of the realist tended to make him value the individual very highly and to praise CHARACTERIZATION as the center of the NOVEL. Hence, he had a great concern for the psychology of the actors in his stories. In Henry James, perhaps the greatest of the realists, this tendency to explore the inner selves of characters confronted with complex ethical choices earned for him not only the title of “father of the PSYCHOLOGICAL NOVEL” but also “biographer of the consciences.” The surface details, the common actions, and the minor catastrophes of a middle-class society constituted the chief subject matter of the movement. Most of the realists avoided situations with tragic or cataclysmic implications. Their tone was often comic, frequently satiric, seldom grim or somber. Their general attitude was broadly optimistic, although James is a great exception. Although aspects of realism appeared almost with the beginnings of the English NOVEL, for they are certainly present in Defoe, Richardson, Fielding, Smollet, Jane Austen, Trolope, Thackeray, and Dickens, the realistic movement found its effective origins in France with Balzac, in England with George Eliot, and in America with Howells and Mark Twain. Writers like Arnold Bennett, John Galsworth and H.G. Wells in England; and Henry James, Edith Wharton, Ellen Glasgow, Sinclair Lwis, John O’Hara, John. P. Marquand, and Louis Auchincloss in America kept and are keeping the realistic tradition alive in the contemporary NOVEL. It should be emphasized, however, that no single realistic NOVEL exemplifies all the characteristics that are listed in this article. In general, though, the realistic NOVEL tends toward the directions here indicated. See NATURALISM, ROMANTICSM.
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • “ Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words. A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first she needs surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. At the edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves and people are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts, each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, a penis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard box where he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not broken anymore. The woman can then write her poem.”
  • Other Concepts: Emotion, Lyric Poetry, and the Self Confessional prose narratives such as Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther (1774) and Chateaubriand's Rene (1801), as well as disguised autobiographical verse narratives such as Byron's Childe Harold (1818), are related phenomena. The interior journey and the development of the self recurred everywhere as subject material for the Romantic artist. The artist-as-hero is a specifically Romantic type.
  • The early Romantic period thus coincides with what is often called the "age of revolutions"--including ,of course, the American (1776) and the French (1789) revolutions--an age of upheavals in political, economic, and social traditions, the age which witnessed the initial transformations of the Industrial Revolution. A revolutionary energy was also at the core of Romanticism, which quite consciously set out to transform not only the theory and practice of poetry (and all art), but the very way we perceive the world. Some of its major precepts have survived into the twentieth century and still affect our contemporary period.

Emily Dickinson & Romanticism Emily Dickinson & Romanticism Presentation Transcript

  • Emily Dickinson & Romanticism
  • “She saw no comfortin refusing to questionthat about which shewished most to be sure.” ~Marianne Moore, after reading Emily Dickinson
  • Classicism and Neo-ClassicismClassicismAs a critical term, a body of doctrine thought to be derived from or to reflect thequalities of ancient Greek and Roman culture, particularly in literature,philosophy, art, or criticism. It is commonly opposed to Romanticism andRealism, although these terms overlap in their “characteristics” and are notmutually Exclusive. It is dangerous to classify writers or types as perfectexponents of classicism. Ben Jonson, for example, was a self-proclaimedadvocate of classicism as a critic and dramatist, yet his Classical Tragedy,contain non-classical elements, such as Comic Relief. Likewise some of the“romanticists” of the eighteenth century cultivated Classical qualities, just assuch a “neo-classicist” as Alexander Pope exhibited some “romantic” traits.Neo-ClassicismThe period in English literature between the return of the Stuarts to the Englishthrone in 1660 and the full assertion of Romanticism which came with thepublication of Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge in 1798. It falls intothree relatively distinct segments; the Restoration Age (1660-1700), and theAge of Johnson (1750-1798).
  • Romanticism in England: 1789 – 1830 Lyric BalladsSamuel Taylor Coleridge William Wordsworth
  • Romanticism in England: 1789 – 1830 LONDON: J. and A. ARCH, 1798 Lyric Ballads William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Lyrical Ballads.The poets William Wordsworth) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge first met in Bristol inAugust 1795. The most fruitful period of their association came two years later, when theylived within walking distance of each other in western Somerset, Coleridge with his wifeand infant son at the small village of Nether Stowey, Wordsworth with his beloved sisterDorothy at nearby Alfoxden. Although in later life Wordsworths politics became increasinglyconservative, at this stage of his career he shared Coleridges republican zeal. Both poets wereconvinced of the need to replace the artificial diction of late eighteenth-century verse with afresher language more attuned to everyday speech.In financial strife, Cottle changed his mind about publishing after all the pages had beenprinter and transferred the edition of about 500 to the Arch brothers of London, who replacedthe original title-page with one bearing their imprint. Despite some negative reviews, the booksold well enough for revised two-volume editions to prove viable in 1800, 1802 and 1805.These added a lengthy introduction and many new poems by Wordsworth but only onefurther poem (‘Love’) by Coleridge. Deemed too obscure to be an inviting opener, ‘TheAncient Mariner’, which had pride of place in 1798, was moved further back in subsequent editions.
  • Romanticism in England: 1789 – 1830 Lyric Ballads Imagination! Lifting up itself Before the eye and progress of my Song Like an unfather’d vapour; . . . . . . In such strength Of usurpation, in such visitings Of awful promise, when the light of sense Goes out in flashes that have shewn us The invisible world, doth Greatness make abode, . . The mind beneath such banners militant Thinks not of spoils or trophies, nor of aught That may attest its prowess, blest in thoughts That are their own perfection and reward, Strong in itself, and in the access of joy Which hides it like the overflowing Nile. (The Prelude, VI, 591-614) ~ William Wordsworth
  • Romanticism in England: 1789 – 1830 Rime of the Ancient Mariner Lyric Ballads Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as his major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, is highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. He coined many familiar words and phrases, including the celebrated suspension of disbelief. He was a major influence, via Emerson, on American transcendentalism. Samuel Taylor Coleridge(21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834)
  • Romanticism in England: 1789 – 1830 Tintern Abbey Lyric BalladsWilliam Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, withSamuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in Englishliterature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads. Wordsworths magnum opus is generally considered to be The Prelude, a semi-autobiographical poem of his early years which the poet revised and expanded a number of times. The work was posthumously titled and published, prior to which it was generally known as the poem "to Coleridge". Wordsworth was Englands Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850. William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850)
  • Emily Dickinson: Romantic Influences Then & Now"I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its originfrom emotion recollected in tranquility: the emotion is contemplated till, by a species ofreaction, the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which wasbefore the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist inthe mind."The Poet "considers man and nature as essentially adapted to each other, and the mind ofman as naturally the mirror of the fairest and most interesting properties of nature."~William Wordsworth
  • Emily Dickinson: Then & Now A little Road –– not made of Man –– Enabled of the Eye – Accessible to Thill of Bee – Or Cart of Butterfly – If Town it have – beyond itself – ‘Tis that – I cannot say – I only know – no Curricle that rumble there Bear Me – Poem 647 c. 1862 Johnson, 321 (Air)
  • Emily Dickinson: Then & Now Air has no Residence, no Neighbor, No Ear, no Door, No Apprehension of Another Oh, Happy Air! Ethereal Guest at e’en an Outcast’s Pillow Essential Host, in Life’s faint, wailing Inn, Later than Light thy Consciousness across me Till it depart, persuading Mine – Poem 1060 c. 1865 Johnson, 483 (Air)
  • Jean Jacques Rousseau: Founder of Romanticism & Anti-EnlightenmentJean-Jacques Rousseau was born on June 28, 1712 inGeneva, Switzerland. His mother died shortly after hisbirth. When Rousseau was 10 his father fled from Genevato avoid imprisonment for a minor offense, leaving youngJean-Jacques to be raised by an aunt and uncle. Rousseauleft Geneva at 16, wandering from place to place, finallymoving to Paris in 1742. He earned his living during thisperiod, working as everything from footman to assistantto an ambassador.Rousseaus profound insight can be found in almostevery trace of modern philosophy today. Somewhatcomplicated and ambiguous, Rousseaus generalphilosophy tried to grasp an emotional and passionate Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712 – 1778)side of man which he felt was left out of most previousphilosophical thinking.
  • Romanticism in America: 1830 - 1865 Emily Dickinson & RomanticismEmily Elizabeth Dickinson (December 10, 1830 – May 15, 1886) was an American poet.Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, to a successful family with strong community ties, she lived a mostly introverted and reclusive life. After she studied at the Amherst Academyfor seven years in her youth, she spent a short time at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary before returning to her familys house in Amherst. Thought of as an eccentric by the locals,she became known for her penchant for white clothing and her reluctance to greet guests or,later in life, even leave her room. Most of her friendships were therefore carried out bycorrespondence.Although Dickinson was a prolific private poet, fewer than a dozen of her nearlyeighteen hundred poems were published during her lifetime. The work thatwas published during her lifetime was usually altered significantly by the publishersto fit the conventional poetic rules of the time. Dickinsons poems are unique for theera in which she wrote; they contain short lines, typically lack titles, and often use slantrhyme as well as unconventional capitalization and punctuation. Many of her poemsdeal with themes of death and immortality, two recurring topics in letters to her friends.
  • Metaphysical PoetryThe metaphysical poets were a loose group of British lyric poets of the 17th century, who shared an interest in metaphysical concerns and a common way of investigating them.The label "metaphysical" was given much later by Samuel Johnson in his Life of Cowley.These poets themselves did not form a school or start a movement; most of them did not evenknow or read each other. Their style was characterized by wit, subtle argumentations, ”metaphysical conceits", and/or an unusual simile or metaphor such as in AndrewMarvell’s comparison of the soul with a drop of dew. Several metaphysical poets,especially John Donne, were influenced by Neo-Platonism. One of the primary Platonic concepts found in metaphysical poetry is the idea that the perfection of beauty in the belovedacted as a remembrance of perfect beauty in the eternal realm. In a famous definition GeorgLukács, the Hungarian Marxist critic, described the schools common trait of "looking beyond the palpable" and "attempting to erase ones own image from the mirror in front so that it should reflect the not-now and not-here"as foreshadowing existentialism (as quoted inThe Aesthetics of Georg Lukács by B. Királyfalvi (1975). Though secular subjectsdrew them (in particular matter drawn from the new science, from the expandinggeographical horizons of the period, and from dialectic) there was also a strong causalelement to their work, defining their relationship with God.
  • Emily Dickinson: Then & Now Ashes denote that Fire was –– Revere the Grayest Pile For the Departed Creature’s sake That hovered there awhile –– Fire exists the first in light And then consolidates Only the Chemist can disclose Into what Carbonates. Poem 1068 c. 1865 Johnson, 484 (Fire)
  • Emily Dickinson: Then & Now You cannot put a Fire out –– A Thing that can ignite Can go, itself, without a Fan –– Upon the slowest Night –– You cannot fold a Flood –– And put it in a Drawer –– Because the Winds would find it out –– And tell your Cedar Floor –– Poem 530 c. 1862 Johnson, 259 (Fire)
  • Emily Dickinson: Then & Now The smouldering embers blush –– Oh Hearts within the Coal Hast thou survived so many years? The smouldering embers smile –– Soft stirs the news of Light The stolid seconds glow One requisite has Fire that lasts Prometheus never knew –– Poem 1132 c. 1868 (unfinished) Johnson,508 (Fire)
  • Transcendentalism Brook FarmA reliance on the intuition and the conscience, a form of idealism; aPhilosophical Romanticism reaching America a generation or twoafter it developed in Europe. Transcendentalism, though based on doctrinesof ancient and modern European philosophers (particularly Kant) andsponsored in America chiefly by Emerson after he had absorbed it fromCarlyle, Coleridge, Goethe, and others, took on especial significancein the United States, where it so largely dominated the New Englandauthors as to become a literary movement as well as a philosophic conception.Brook Farm, a celebrated nineteenth-century New England utopian community,was founded by Unitarian minister George Ripley and other progressive,Transcendentalist Unitarians, to be, in Ripleys words, a new Jerusalem,the "city of God, anew." From its founding in 1841 until it went bankrupt in 1847,Brook Farm influenced many of the social reform movements of its day: abolitionism,associationalism, the workingmens movement, and the womens rightsmovement. It represented both a test of Transcendentalist dreams and a challengeto Transcendentalist individualism.
  • Emily Dickinson: Then & Now Three times – we parted – Breath – and I – Three times – He would not go – But strove to stay. Three Times – the Billows tossed me up – Then caught me – like a Ball – Then made Blue faces in my face – And pushed away my sail That crawled Leagues off – I liked to see – For thinking – while I die – How pleasant to behold a Thing Where Human faces – be – The Waves grew sleepy – Breath –– did not – The Winds – like Children – lulled – Then Sunrise kissed my Chrysalis – And I stood up – and lived – Poem 598 c. 1862 Johnson, 294 (Water)
  • Emily Dickinson: Then & Now Though the great Waters sleep, That they are still the Deep, We cannot doubt – No vacillating God Ignited this Abode To put it out –– Poem 1599 c. 1862 Johnson, 661 (Water)
  • NaturalismA term sometimes applied to writing that demonstrates a deep interest in Nature, such as Wordsworth and other Romantic writers had; and sometimes used to describe any form of extreme Realism, although this usage is a very loose one. It should properly be reserved to designate a movement in the Novel. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuriesin France, America, and England.In its simplest sense Naturalism is the application of the principles of scientific DeterminismIn Fiction. It draws its name from its basic assumption that everything that is real exists inNature; Nature being conceived as the world of objects, actions, and forces which yieldthe secrets of their causation and their being to objective scientific inquiry. The fundamentalview of man which the naturalist takes is of an animal in the natural world, responding to environmental forces and internal stresses and drives, over none of which he has controland none of which he fully understands. It tends to differ from Realism, not in its attempt tobe accurate in the portal of its materials but in the selection and organization of thosematerials, selecting not the common place but the representative and so arranging the materialin that the structure of the Novel reveals the pattern of ideas –– in this case, scientific theory–– which forms the author’s view of the nature of experience.
  • Emily Dickinson: Then & NowMy Garden – like the Beach –Denotes there be – a Sea –That’s Summer –Such as These – the PearlsShe fetches – such as Me Poem 484 c. 1862 Johnson, 233 (Garden)
  • RealismIn the broadest sense, Realism is imply fidelity to actuality in its representation inliterature; a term loosely synonymous with Verisimilitude; and in the sense it has been asignificant element in almost every school of writing in human history. In order to give itmore precise definition, however, one needs to limit it to the movement which arose inthe nineteenth century, at least partially in reaction to Romanticism, which was centeredin the Novel, and which was dominant in France, England, and America from roughlymid-century to the closing decade, when it was replaced by Naturalism In this lattersince, realism defines a literary method, a philosophical and political attitude, and aparticular kind of subject matter.Realism has been defined as “the truthful treatment of material” by one of its morevigorous advocates, William Dean Howells, but the statement means little until therealist’s concept of truth and his selection of materials are designated. Generally, therealist is a believer in Pragmatism and the truth he seeks to find and express is arelativistic truth, associated with discernible consequences and verifiable by experience.Generally, too, the realist is a believer in democracy, and the materials he elects to describeare the common, the average, the everyday. Furthermore, realism can be thought of as theultimate of middle-class art, and it finds it subjects in bourgeois life and manners. Wherethe romanticist transcends the immediate to find the ideal, and the naturalist plumbs theactual to find the scientific laws which control its actions, the realist centers his attention toa remarkable degree on the immediate, the here and now, the specific action, and theverifiable consequence.
  • Emily Dickinson: Romantic Influences Then & Now“I have said that this is a poem of exquisite ironies. It is, indeed, through in a verydifferent mode, related to Dickinson’s “little girl” strategy. The woman who feels herselfto be Vesuvius at home has need of a mask, at least, of innocuousness and ofcontainment.” On my volcano grows the Grass A meditative spot – An acre for a Bird to Choose Would be the General thought – How red the Fire rocks below – How insecure the sod Did I disclose Would populate with awe my solitude. ~Adrienne Rich Excerpt from: “Vesuvius at Home - The Power of Emily Dickinson” Poem 1677 c. unknown McQuade, 45 (Volcanoes)
  • Emily Dickinson: Then & Now The reticent volcano keeps His never slumbering plan – Confided are his projects pink To no precarious man. If nature will not tell the tale Jehovah told to her Can human nature not survive Without a listener? Admonished by her buckled lips Let every babbler be The only secret people keep Is Immortality. Poem 1748 c. unknown Johnson, 708 (Volcanoes)
  • ModernismModernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. Morespecifically, the term describes both a set of cultural tendencies and an array of associatedcultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes toWestern society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The term encompassesthe activities and output of those who felt the "traditional" forms of art, architecture,literature, religious faith, social organization and daily life were becoming outdated in thenew economic, social and political conditions of an emerging fully industrialized world.Modernism rejected the lingering certainty of Enlightenment thinking, and also thatof the existence of a compassionate, all-powerful Creator. This is not to say that allmodernists or modernist movements rejected either religion or all aspects ofEnlightenment thought, rather that modernism can be viewed as a questioning of theaxioms of the previous age.
  • Emily Dickinson: Romantic Influences Then & Now“Dickinson’s poems, her dangers, are also often authenticated by her losses. So many ofthem ––battles with those emissaries of silence which are the ocean, the wind, the light ofday (with its terrible raised expectations – unfulfilled promises –– or vision) and thespeechlessness of pain, of fear –– end on great failures of human speech, victories of “theTooth/That nibbles at the Soul.” It has the last word everywhere, as one can see in theseseven instances: Interrupt –– to die –– ~Jorie Graham Until the Moss had reached our Lips –– Excerpt from: “Some Notes on Silence” And covered up –– our Names –– Withdraws –– and leaves the dazzled Soul In her unfurnished Rooms Then – close the Valves of her attention –– Like Stone –– When orchestra is dumb … And Ear –– and Heaven –– numb –– The Heavens with a smile Sweep by our disappointed Heads Without a syllable –– The Tapestries of Paradise So Notelessly –– are made!
  • Emily Dickinson: Romantic Influences Then & Now“Punctuation re-invents an original privacy in the social space between words.A dream manages it like this: a woman is about to write something but first sheneeds surgery on her throat. She must drive to a hospital near and ocean. Atthe edge of the ocean she stops: a van has been carried up by the waves andpeople are dragging out a hurt man–– dark, broken into discrete black parts,each shape. Like a punctuation mark: an arm, severed legs, not just two, apenis, a curled piece of chest hair. The helpers put him into a cardboard boxwhere he stays a short time. Soon he is taken out of the Box whole, not brokenanymore. The woman can then write her poem.” ~ Brenda Hillman Excerpt from: A Cadenced Privacy (some thoughts on punctuation in contemporary poems)
  • ImaginationThe imagination was elevated to a position as the supreme faculty ofthe mind. This contrasted distinctly with the traditional argumentsfor the supremacy of reason. The Romantics tended to define and topresent the imagination as our ultimate "shaping” or creative power,the approximate human equivalent of the creative powers of natureor even deity. It is dynamic, an active, rather than passive power,with many functions. Imagination is the primary faculty for creatingall art. On a broader scale, it is also the faculty that helps humans toconstitute reality, for (as Wordsworth suggested), we not onlyperceive the world around us, but also in part create it. Uniting bothreason and feeling (Coleridge described it with the paradoxicalphrase, "intellectual intuition"), imagination is extolled as theultimate synthesizing faculty, enabling humans to reconciledifferences and opposites in the world of appearance. Thereconciliation of opposites is a central ideal for the Romantics.Finally, imagination is inextricably bound up with the other twomajor concepts, for it is presumed to be the faculty which enables usto "read" nature as a system of symbols.
  • "Nature" meant many things to the Romantics.As suggested above, it was often presented as Itself a work of art, constructed by a divine Natureimagination In emblematic language. For example,throughout"Song of Myself," Whitman makes a practice ofpresenting commonplace items innature--"ants,” "heapd stones," and "poke-weed"--as containingdivine elements, and he refers to the "grass" as a At the same time, Romantics gavenatural "hieroglyphic," "the handkerchief of theLord." While particular perspectives with regard to Greater attention both to describing natural phenomena accurately and tonature varied considerably--nature as a healing capturing "sensuous nuance"--and thispower,nature as a source of subject and image, nature as a is as true of Romantic landscaperefuge from the artificial constructs of civilization, painting as of Romantic natureincluding artificial language--the prevailing view poetry. Accuracy of observation,s accorded nature the status of an organically unified however, was not sought for itswhole. It was viewed as "organic," rather than, own sake. Romantic nature poetryas in the scientific or rationalist view, as a system is essentially a poetry of meditation.of”mechanical" laws, for Romanticism displaced the rationalist view of the universe as a machine (e.g., the deistic image of a clock) with the analogue of an "organic" image, a living tree or mankind itself.
  • Symbolism and Myth were given great prominence in theRomantic conception of art. In the Romantic view, symbols werethe human aesthetic correlatives of natures emblematic languageThey were valued too because they could simultaneously suggestmany things, and were thus thought superior to the one-to-onecommunications of allegory.Symbolism & Myth Partly, it may have been the desire to express the "inexpressible"-- the infinite--through the available resources of language that led to symbol at one level and myth (as symbolic narrative) at another.
  • Other aspects of Romanticism were intertwined with the above three concepts.Emphasis on the activity of the imagination was accompanied by greateremphasis on the importance of intuition, instincts, and feelings, and Romanticsgenerally called for greater attention to the emotions as a necessary supplement topurely logical reason. When this emphasis was applied to the creation of poetry, avery important shift of focus occurred. Wordsworths definition of all good poetryas "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" marks a turning point inliterary history. By locating the ultimate source of poetry in the individual artist,the tradition, stretching back to the ancients, of valuing art primarily for its abilityto imitate human life (that is, for its mimetic qualities) was reversed. In Romantictheory, art was valuable not so much as a mirror of the external world, but as asource of illumination of the world within. Among other things, this led to aprominence for first-person lyric poetry never accorded it in any previous period.The "poetic speaker" became less a persona and more the direct person of thepoet. Wordsworths Prelude and Whitmans "Song of Myself" are bothparadigms of successful experiments to take the growth of the poets mind (thedevelopment of self) as subject for an "epic" enterprise made up of lyriccomponents. Other Concepts: Emotion, Lyric Poetry, and the Self
  • It is one of the curiosities of literary history that the strongholds of theRomantic Movement were England and Germany, not the countries ofthe romance languages themselves. Thus it is from the historians ofEnglish and German literature that we inherit the convenient set ofterminal dates for the Romantic period, beginning in 1798, the year ofthe first edition of Lyrical Ballads by Wordsworth and Coleridge andof the composition of Hymns to the Night by Novalis, and ending in1832, the year which marked the deaths of both Sir Walter Scott andGoethe. However, as an international movement affecting all the arts,Romanticism begins at least in the 1770s and continues into thesecond half of the nineteenth century, later for American literaturethan for European, and later in some of the arts, like music andpainting, than in literature. This extended chronological spectrum(1770-1870) also permits recognition as Romantic the poetry of RobertBurns and William Blake in England, the early writings of Goethe andSchiller in Germany, and the great period of influence for Rousseauswritings throughout Europe.
  • “Emily Dickinson made as if to lock the doorwith an imaginary key, turned and said:‘Matty: here’s freedom.’”~Adrienne RichExcerpt from: “Vesuvius at Home - The Power of Emily Dickinson”(Mcquade, 33)
  • BIBLIOGRAPHYBloom, Harold, Ed. Romanticism and Consciousness, Essays in Criticism. New York: W.W. Norton & Company. 1970Graham, Jorie.. “Some Notes on Silence) (pp. 173 - 171). McQuade, Molly, Ed. By Herself, Women Reclaim Poetry. Saint Paul: Graywolf Press. 2000Hillman, Brenda. “A Cadenced Privacy (some thoughts on pumctuation in contemporary poems)” (pp. 182 - 186). McQuade, Molly, Ed. By Herself, Women Reclaim Poetry. Saint Paul: Graywolf Press. 2000Holman, C. Hugh. A Handbook to Literature. Based on the Original by William Flint Thralland and Addison Hibbard Third Edition. Indianapolis: The Oddysey Press, A Division of The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc. 1975Leavell, Linda. “Marianne Moores Emily Dickinson.” The Emily Dickinson Journal - Volume 12,Number 2, Fall 2003, pp. 1-20; E-ISSN: 1096-858X Print ISSN: 1059-6879; DOI: 10.1353/edj.2003.0009
  • INTERNET RESOURCESSamuel Taylor Coleridge Wikipedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Taylor_Coleridge 2009Metaphysical Poets Wikipedia.org. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metaphysical_poets> 2009Modernism: Wikipedia.org < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernism>. 2009Jean Jacques RousseauVoS: Voice of the Shuttle <http://vos.ucsb.edu/> Wikipedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Jacque_Rousseau. 2009William Wordsworth Wikipedia.org http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Wordsworth. 2009
  • Emily Dickinson & Romanticism Carole S. Mora ENG 475 An Introduction to Emily Dickinson Professor Wendy Martin November 16, 2009 Claremont Graduate University