Moreover, some critics believe that poetry of the Victorian Period is a continuation into the third and fourth generation of poetry from the Romantic Movement which can be seen in the poetic writings of John Keats, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Browning, and Alfred Lord Tennyson. To begin with, John Keats Ode on a Grecian Urn is perhaps one of the most romantic odes to an inanimate object ever seen.
Near the end of the poem, in the final stanza, the speaker muses that beauty is truth, truth beauty , which can be read as an obvious statement about love and beauty, or as a statement on the elusiveness that both true beauty and truth possess, which actually remarks on the ideals behind the foundation of the Romantic Movement. Either way, Ode is as purely romantic as poetry can get and proved to lay the groundwork for future poetry of the Romantic Movement.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge took a different path and worked on the essence of beauty in nature as the speaker in The Eolian Harp goes on about white flowerd Jasmin, and the broad-leavd Myrtle,/(Meet emblems they of innocence and love! ) and the harps long sequacious notes/over delicious surges sink and rise/such a soft floating witchery of sound/as twilight Elfins make . Rarely has a more romantic statement been uttered about a simple harp, but Coleridge is doing more than just personification, here.
His poem is making a statement that the aristocracy cannot deny: political norms are out, and strong emotion for the beauty and sublimity of nature is in. Robert Browning takes a bite out of the Victorian aristocracy as well with his poem entitled My Last Duchess. In it, Browning, though well in the Victorian era, weaves a tale of a Duke who had his last wife, the Duchess, killed because of her trampy ways; which he ironically professes to admire as he looks upon her painting.
But the Duke isnt done with his line of many wives and hopes to marry the Counts daughter with his dowry¦[for] his fair daughters self . Browning is trite and dramatic, giving such personification to a painting, but he too speaks to the aristocracy with pure, delightful historical allusion. Alfred Lord Tennysons Ulysses strikes a completely different tune as he takes pure poetic license with his entirely enjambed lines and heroic to the point of transcendent verse.
It is the tale of Ulysses (Odysseus) after he has finally returned from his twenty year voyage of hell on earth. It can be read as mans struggle for existence now that his life has been returned, but strong romantic overtones fight their way to the forefront of this poem because life is not what it used to be for Ulysses. Ulysses is no longer the symbol of man vs. nature, as he has been transformed in this poem into man vs. himself. Perhaps the rise of Queen Victoria and her reign of politics and power had Tennyson parrying man vs.
himself in an attempt to show the vain nature of the power players, but it can be seen from the striking emotional outpouring and powerful descriptions of nature that Tennyson remained influenced by the Romantic Movement. Overall, despite the rise of the Victorian Era, the powerful emotions and influence of the writings from the Romantic Movement refused to be replaced by odes to political figures because of the sheer amusement and pleasure poets like Browning and Tennyson found in their writings. Though they attempted to shield their emotional outpourings in allusions and aristocratic themes, their messages were not to be denied.