Percy Bysshe Shelley
"Stanzas Written in Dejection"
- As you read this and the rest of the poems from the Romantci genre, keep in mind that the Romantics in their poems emphasized imagination, sensitivity, feelings, sponteneity, freedom, introspection, intuition, instincts, individualism, solitude, emotion. Look for examples of these in the poems.
- In the first two stanzas the poet describes a scene in nature.
- What is the vantage point of the observer? From which point is he observing nature? Where is he located?
- What kind of mood do the first two stanzas project?
- How does the mood contrast with the title of the poem? Look up the meaning of the word "dejection".
- Notice the instances in the poem where nature is personified (things in nature that are described with human characteristics).
- In Line 9 the poet describes the noise of the City as being "soft, like Solitude's". Can you picture and describe a voice that is soft like solitude?
- In Line 10 the poet says that he sees the "Deep's untrampled floor". This refers to the bottom of the ocean. Obviously he can't see the bottom of the ocean, but he can use his imagination.
- In Lines 12 and 13 the poet compares the light of the waves hitting the shore to star-showers. Do you know what are star-showers?
- In Line 18 the poet says "How sweet! did any heart now share in my emotion." "How sweet!" refers to the attitude of the poet toward what he is experiencing. When the poet asks "did any heart now share in my emotion.", this points to the Romantic idea that an emotion is experienced by the heart, not the mind. But, how can someone else who is not there experience the same emotion as the poet? The Romantis believed that it is possible to feel the emotion that is felt by someone else, and the purpose of poetry is to do specifically that, to infect someone else with the emotions that you are experiencing.
- The third stanza shows a change in mood. The poet lists things he does not have. The Romantic poet is a solitary individual, he is diffrent from everyone else. Why do you think he does not find pleasure in things in life that most others find?
- What is the poet's attitude toward death? (Last two stanzas). How does he picture himself dying? This takes us back to the scene in the first two stanzas.
- What do you think is the poet's attitude toward dejection? Is it something to be avoided? Is it pleasurable?
"A Widow Bird Sate Mourning for Her Love"
- What is a good definition of "lament"?
- What is the poet lamenting?
- List some characteristics of the romantic persona in the poem.
- This is a good example of a mood poem. Nothing really happens. It's a description of a somber, melancholy scene.
- Good example of personification. Nature seems to share the mood of the bird.
- How does nature contribute to the mood?
"Music, When Soft Voices Die"
- Love as a universal in nature. The Romantic idea that humans and nature share the same feelings.
- In the first stanza the poet is attempting to convince the other to be his lover. In the second stanza he is attempting to convince her to kiss him. How convincing do you think he is?
- Love as eternal, even after the lover is gone.
- Have you ever heard some music, and when the music stops you still hear it in your mind?
- Have you ever smelled something, and the smell still lingers for a long time?
- How efective is the use of imagery (sounds and odors) to express the eternity of love?
- Are you convinced of the poet's view of love when the lover is gone?