Late 1800s Poetic Movements
- Aesthetic Movement is predicated upon the school of thought that art is its own justification and purpose. Edgar Allen Poe, Algernon Swinburne, Oscar Wilde were 19th century proponents.
The Cameo by Algernon Swinburne 1837-1909
There was a graven image of Desire
Painted with red blood on a ground of gold
Passing between the young men and the old,
And by him Pain, whose body shone like fire,
And Pleasure with gaunt hands that grasped their hire.
Of his left wrist, with fingers clenched and cold,
The insatiable Satiety kept hold,
Walking with feet unshod that pashed the mire.
The senses and the sorrows and the sins,
And the strange loves the suck the breasts of Hate
Till lips and teeth bite in their sharp indenture,
Followed like beasts with flap of wings and fins.
Death stood aloof behind a gaping grate,
- The Apostles, Alfred Lord Tennyson, EM Forster, Bertram Russell, Arthur Hallam were all members of this 19th century, society of intellectuals at Cambridge University in 1820.
Crossing the Bar by Alfred Lord Tennyson
Sunset and evening star,
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have cross'd the bar.
- Della Cruscans were sentimentalist English poets from the late 1800s led by Robert Merry while in Italy. It was meant to be a collaboration between English and Italian poets and took its name from the Accademia della Crusca, a movement from the 16th century to "purify" the Italian language. The term became associated with affected, pretentious, often ornate poetry. Poets such Wordworth and Lord Byron, although not associated with the movement were influenced by the romanticism of the movement.
Sonnet on Seeing Miss Helen Maria Williams Weep at a Tale of Distress
She wept.--Life's purple tide began to flow
In languid streams through every thrilling vein;
Dim were my swimming eyes--my pulse beat slow,
And my full heart was swell'd to dear delicious pain.
Life left my loaded heart, and closing eye;
A sigh recall'd the wanderer to my breast;
Dear was the pause of life, and dear the sigh
That call'd the wanderer home, and home to rest.
That tear proclaims--in thee each virtue dwells,
And bright will shine in misery's midnight hour;
As the soft star of dewy evening tells
What radiant fires were drown'd by day's malignant pow'r,
That only wait the darkness of the night
To cheer the wand'ring wretch with hospitable light.
AXIOLOGUS William Wordsworth
The European Magazine 40 (March 1787) 202
- Fleshy School of Poetry was a term (uncomplimentary) attributed to what was concieved as the immoral and overly sensual poetry of 19th century poets, Daniel Gabriel Rossetti, William Morris and Swinburne. The term came from Robert Buchanan (writing as Thomas Maitland)
Love Lily by Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Between the hands, between the brows,
Between the lips of Love-lily,
A spirit is born whose birth endows
My blood with fire to burn through me;
Who breathes upon my gazing eyes,
Who laughs and murmurs in mine ear,
At whose least touch my color flies,
And whom my life grows faint to hear.
Within the voice, within the heart,
Within the mind of Love-Lily,
A spirit is born who lifts apart
His tremulous wings and looks at me;
Who on my mouth his finger lays,
And shows, while whispering lutes confer,
That Eden of Love's watered ways
Whose winds and spirits worship her.
Brows, hands, and lips, heart, mind, and voice,
Kisses and words of Love-Lily,--
Oh! bid me with your joy rejoice
Til riotous longing rest in me!
Ah! let not hope be still distraught,
But find in her its gracious goal,
Truth knows not from her thought
Nor Love her body from her soul.
- Modernism is a movement between 1890 and 1940 that challenged and often rejected traditional form in poetry. The movement was led by TS Eliot who wrote one of the most significant Modernist poem The Waste Land and my favorite The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, William Butler Yeats and Ezra Pound who was a founder of Imagism. The popularity of Free Verse came about through this movement.
Portrait d'une Femme by Ezra Pound
Your mind and you are our Sargasso Sea,
London has swept about you this score years
And bright ships left you this or that in fee:
Ideas, old gossip, oddments of all things,
Strange spars of knowledge and dimmed wares of price.
Great minds have sought youlacking someone else.
You have been second always. Tragical?
No. You preferred it to the usual thing:
One dull man, dulling and uxorious,
One average mindwith one thought less, each year.
Oh, you are patient, I have seen you sit
Hours, where something might have floated up.
And now you pay one. Yes, you richly pay.
You are a person of some interest, one comes to you
And takes strange gain away:
Trophies fished up; some curious suggestion:
Fact that leads nowhere; and a tale or two,
Pregnant with mandrakes, or with something else
That might prove useful and yet never proves,
That never fits a corner or shows use,
Or finds its hour upon the loom of days:
The tarnished, gaudy, wonderful old work;
Idols and ambergris and rare inlays,
These are your riches, your great store; and yet
For all this sea-hoard of deciduous things,
Strange woods half sodden, and new brighter stuff:
In the slow float of differing light and deep,
No! there is nothing! In the whole and all,
Nothing that's quite your own.
-------------------Yet this is you.
- Parnassian Poets were a group of 19th century French poets who's rebellion to the excesses of Romantisism spurred them to write with objectivity and restraint. The Parnassians took their name from the Greek mountain sacred to Apollo and the Muses, the Parnassians. They espoused "art for art's sake", perfection of form, language and pictorial imagery. Theodore Banville and Leconte de Lisle were prominent in the movement and although I could find no examples of their work in English the movement played an important role in the development of French poetry.
Un Poete Mort by Charles Leconte de Lisle
Toi dont les yeux erraient, altérés de lumière,
De la couleur divine au contour immortel
Et de la chair vivante à la splendeur du ciel,
Dors en paix dans la nuit qui scelle ta paupière.
Voir, entendre, sentir ? Vent, fumée et poussière.
Aimer ? La coupe d'or ne contient que du fiel.
Comme un Dieu plein d'ennui qui déserte l'autel,
Rentre et disperse-toi dans l'immense matière.
Sur ton muet sépulcre et tes os consumés
Qu'un autre verse ou non les pleurs accoutumés,
Que ton siècle banal t'oublie ou te renomme ;
Moi, je t'envie, au fond du tombeau calme et noir,
D'être affranchi de vivre et de ne plus savoir
La honte de penser et l'horreur d'être un homme!
A Dead Poet by Charles Leconte de Lisle
You whose eyes wandered, altered light
The divine immortal outline color
And living flesh to the splendor of heaven,
Sleep in peace at night that seals your eyelid.
See, hear, smell? Wind, smoke and dust.
Love? The Golden Bowl contains only gall.
As a God full of boredom deserted the altar
Goes up and disperses in the vast area.
On your silent tomb, and your bones consumed
Another verse or not crying accustomed,
Thy century banal or renames you forget you;
I envy you at the bottom of quiet and dark tomb
To be free to live and not know
The shame of thinking and the horror of being a man!
- Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood is a 19th century group of poets and artists who's work used medieval settings and subject matter and was a rebellion against the ugliness of Victorian life. They were particularly inspired by La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John Keats. Poets such as D.G. Rossetti, Walter Pater and William Morris were among the brotherhood.
A Good Knight in Prison by William Morris
Half the day long,
Flap the great banners
High over the stone;
Strangely and eerily
Sounds the wind's song,
Bending the banner-poles.
While, all alone,
Watching the loophole's spark,
Lie I, with life all dark,
Feet tether'd, hands fetter'd
Fast to the stone,
The grim walls, square-letter'd
With prison'd men's groan.
Still strain the banner-poles
Through the wind's song,
Westward the banner rolls
Over my wrong.
- The Rhymers' Club was a group of poets who began meeting as a dining club upstairs at the Cheshire Cheese pub on Fleet Street, London England in the late 1800s. W. B. Yeats, Ernest Rhys, Ernest Dowson, Lionel Johnson, Richard Le Gallienne, John Davidson, Edwin Ellis, Victor Plarr, Selwyn Image, A. S. Hillier, John Todhunter, Arthur Symons, Ernest Radford and Thomas William Rolleston were part of the group which produced anthologies in 1892 and 1894. Several of the group were "fated to failure or early death" which caused Yeats to call them the "tragic generation".
A Last Word by Ernest Dowson
Let us go hence: the night is now at hand;
The day is overworn, the birds all flown;
And we have reaped the crops the gods have sown;
Despair and death; deep darkness o'er the land,
Broods like an owl; we cannot understand
Laughter or tears, for we have only known
Surpassing vanity: vain things alone
Have driven our perverse and aimless band.
Let us go hence, somewhither strange and cold,
To Hollow Lands where just men and unjust
Find end of labour, where's rest for the old,
Freedom to all from love and fear and lust.
Twine our torn hands! O pray the earth enfold
Our life-sick hearts and turn them into dust.
- Spasmodic School was a group of 19th century, Victorian poets whose poetry was marked by violent and obscure imagery. Some poets associated with this group were P. J. Bailey, J.W. Marston, S.T. Dobell and Alexander Smith.
Home In War Time by S T Dobell
SHE turn'd the fair page with her fairer hand-
More fair and frail than it was wont to be-
O'er each remember'd thing he lov'd to see
She linger'd, and as with a fairy's wand
Enchanted it to order. Oft she fann'd
New motes into the sun; and as a bee
Sings thro' a brake of bells, so murmur'd she,
And so her patient love did understand
The reliquary room. Upon the sill
She fed his favorite bird. "Ah, Robin, sing!
He loves thee. Then she touches a sweet string
Of soft recall, and towards the Eastern hill
Smiles all her soul-for him who cannot hear
The raven croaking at his carrion ear.
- The Uranian Poets were a small group of underground pederast English poets from 1858-1930. These clandestine classicalists preferred to use conservative verse forms, idealized the history of Ancient Greece and seemed to have an infatuation for adolescent boys. William Johnson, Lord Alfred Douglas, John Gambril Nicholson, Rev. E. E. Bradford, John Addington Symonds, Edmund John, and Fabian S. Woodley were among the noted. There were also others who used pseudonyms such as "Philebus" and "A. Newman". Much of their work was privately published and limited by Victorian taboos.