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Explore the Craft of Writing Poetry
Early 1800s Poetic Movements

  • Classicism is a school of poetry known for its sense of formality and restrained emotion. Classical poets are noted to strive for perfection, their clarity of purpose, balance and use of elevated but not pompous language. The early 1800s saw a revival of Classicism although the term actually refers to poets of many eras who each built their work with respect and emulation of the first classical poets, the ancient Greeks and Romans, names such as Ovid, Homer, Horace, Catullus, Lucretius and Virgil. Classical poets are credited with the development of many thematic genres and forms. Great English poets who were considered among the best of Classical poets are Ben Jonson, Elegy; John Dryden Absalom and Architophel, Alexander Pope, Rape of the Lock; Samuel Johnson, The Vanity of Human Wishes and Matthew Arnold, The Scholar Gipsy.

    Elegy by Ben Jonson .

    Though beauty be the mark of praise,
    And yours of whom I sing be such
    As not the world can praise too much,
    Yet is 't your virtue now I raise.

    A virtue, like allay, so gone
    Throughout your form, as, though that move
    And draw and conquer all men's love,
    This sùbjects you to love of one.

    Wherein you triumph yet; because
    'Tis of yourself, and that you use
    The noblest freedom, not to choose
    Against or faith or honor's laws.

    But who should less expect from you,
    In whom alone Love lives again?
    By whom he is restored to men,
    And kept, and bred, and brought up true.

    His falling temples you have reared,
    The withered garlands ta'en away;
    His altars kept from the decay
    That envy wished, and nature feared;

    And on them burn so chaste a flame,
    With so much loyalties' expense,
    As Love, t' acquit such excellence,
    Is gone himself into your name.

    And you are he; the deity
    To whom all lovers are designed
    That would their better objects find;
    Among which faithful troop am I.

    Who, as an offspring at your shrine,
    Have sung this hymn, and here entreat
    One spark of your diviner heat
    To light upon a love of mine.

    Which, if it kindle not, but scant
    Appear, and that to shortest view,
    Yet give me leave t' adore in you
    What I in her am grieved to want.

  • Cockney Poetry was a term used by Blackwood Magazine 1817 England to describe poetry by poets from "humble" beginnings such as Leigh Hunt and John Keats.

    Abou Ben Adhem by James Leigh Hunt

    Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
    Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
    And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
    Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
    An angel writing in a book of gold:
    Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
    And to the Presence in the room he said
    "What writest thou?" The vision raised its head,
    And with a look made of all sweet accord,
    Answered "The names of those who love the Lord."
    "And is mine one?" said Abou. "Nay, not so,"
    Replied the angel. Abou spoke more low,
    But cheerly still, and said "I pray thee, then,
    Write me as one that loves his fellow men."

    The angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
    It came again with a great wakening light,
    And showed the names whom love of God had blessed,
    And lo! Ben Adhem's name led all the rest.

  • Lake Poets is a term used to identify 19th century poets, William Wordsworth,Robert Southey andSamuel Taylor Coleridge who all lived in the Lake District and drew inspiration from the landscape.

    To A Goose by Robert Southey

    If thou didst feed on western plains of yore
    Or waddle wide with flat and flabby feet
    Over some Cambrian mountain's plashy moor.
    Or find in farmer's yard a safe retreat
    From gipsy thieves and foxes sly and fleet;
    If thy grey quills by lawyer guided, trace
    Deeds big with ruin to some wretched race,
    Or love-sick poet's sonnet, sad and sweet,
    Wailing the rigour of some lady fair;
    Or if, the drudge of housemaid's daily toil,
    Cobwebs and dust thy pinion white besoil,
    Departed goose! I neither know nor care.
    But this I know, that thou wert very fine,
    Seasoned with sage and onions and port wine.

  • Peasant Poetry was work of 19th century poets from poor backgrounds often concerned with nature or rural setting. A couple of Peasant poets were John Clare andRobert Bloomfield.

    Braggart by John Clare

    With careful step to keep his balance up
    He reels on warily along the street.
    Slabbering at mouth and with a staggering stoop
    Mutters an angry look at all he meets.
    Bumptious and vain and proud he shoulders up
    And would be something if he knew but how;
    To any man on earth he will not stoop
    But cracks of work, of horses and of plough.
    Proud of the foolish talk, the ale he quaffs,
    He never heeds the insult loud that laughs:
    With rosy maid he tries to joke and play,--
    Who shrugs and nettles deep his pomp and pride.
    And calls him 'drunken beast' and runs away--
    King to himself and fool to all beside

  • Victorian Poetry was written during the reign of Queen Victoria (1819-1901), the poets of this time created an escapist world inspired by Camelot and the Arthur legend Tennyson was a Victorian poet.

    Lady of Shallot by Alfred Lord Tennyson  Part I

    On either side the river lie
    Long fields of barley and of rye,
    That clothe the wold and meet the sky;
    And through the field the road runs by
    ----------To many-towered Camelot;
    And up and down the people go,
    Gazing where the lilies blow
    Round an island there below,
    ----------The island of Shalott.

    Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
    Little breezes dusk and shiver
    Through the wave that runs for ever
    By the island in the river
    ----------Flowing down to Camelot.
    Four grey walls, and four grey towers,
    Overlook a space of flowers,
    And the silent isle imbowers
    ----------The Lady of Shalott.

    By the margin, willow-veiled
    Slide the heavy barges trailed
    By slow horses; and unhailed
    The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
    ----------Skimming down to Camelot:
    But who hath seen her wave her hand?
    Or at the casement seen her stand?
    Or is she known in all the land,
    ----------The Lady of Shalott?

    Only reapers, reaping early
    In among the bearded barley,
    Hear a song that echoes cheerly
    From the river winding clearly,
    ----------Down to towered Camelot:
    And by the moon the reaper weary,
    Piling sheaves in uplands airy,
    Listening, whispers "Tis the fairy
    ---------------Lady of Shalott."

~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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