Well, I think it’s time to acknowledge the Romantics around here, don’t you?
Truth be told, Byron, Shelley (Percy, that is), and Wordsworth have never been my cup of tea (if they’re yours, please direct me to poems that will change my mind!), but I’ve loved Coleridge since I was a child, since Kubla Khan and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner paint such vivid pictures in the mind (and they’re exciting!).
I think I may have run across Keats in high school, but it wasn’t until a Romanticism class in college that I got a big dose. Seriously, the only word that properly describes his poetry is “romantic” — he’s the epitome of the movement. You’ll find Wordsworth and Byron in some of my various anthologies, but one of my prized books is an 1892 copy of The Poetical Works of John Keats; when I win the lottery, I’ll be able to afford a binding repair.
I know it may sound a bit overly, ahem, romantic, but I love having a book of his poems from the same century during which he lived and breathed.
“Bright Star” is a love sonnet he wrote to Fanny Brawne, his fiancee and center of adoration in the last two years of his life. Jane Campion’s gorgeous, perfect film Bright Star focuses on their relationship; if you haven’t seen it, please locate your handkerchief and then borrow it from your local library (you’ll want to buy it after, I promise.)
Here’s the poem:
Lovely, isn’t it?
Which Romantic poems are your favorites?