WORLD LITERATURE II (ENG
Activities for Romantic Poets
Dr. Diane Thompson, NVCC, ELI
Select the Activity question you wish to respond to. Make a copy of
the question to begin your Activity. Post your response to the
Activity 4: Romantic Poets Forum. I will comment on your Activity on the Forum, and send your grade to you
privately, by email.
|Key elements of romanticism include: focus on
the self and feelings; nature as an extension of feelings; feeling in response to nature;
concern with social injustice; and creative imagination. Review the group of romantic
poems, looking for examples of these key elements of romanticism. Select two poems that
seem especially romantic to you. For each poem, identify at least two romantic elements
that are important in it. Give examples for each and explain how they affect the poem.
|Select two romantic poems that look at some form
of nature. Discuss how the two poems talk about nature and how they connect the natural
world to human feeling. Use specific examples from the poems themselves to support your
|Compare Shelley's "England in 1819" to
Heine's "Silesian Weavers." Both poems deal with social injustice; your job is
to discuss how they express ideas and feelings about it. Give specific examples from the
texts of both poems to support your ideas.
|Read "Kubla Khan" by Coleridge,
"La Belle Dame sans Merci" by Keats, and "Et nox facta est" by Hugo.
All three poems create imaginary situations that are mysterious and unknowable by the
rational mind. This is a typical trait of romanticism. Compare/contrast two or three of
these poems and come to some interesting conclusion about their differences as well as
their similarities (So What?) Support your ideas with examples from the poems.
|There are several poems about dejection and/or
melancholy in this group of romantic poems. This was a favorite emotion for romantic poets
to write about. Select any two or three such poems to compare/contrast. Try to come to
some interesting conclusion about their differences as well as their similarities (So
What?). Support your ideas with examples from the poems.
|Select two or three poems that deal with
animals. Analyze the similarities and differences between these poems. Are the animals
real or imaginary? Are they political or metaphorical animals? Does the poet relate to the
animal or use it to make a point? Use examples from the poems to support your ideas.
|Romantic poets frequently wrote about the
landscape and its features as if they were living, feeling creatures. They also wrote
about plants and animals as if they shared human emotions. Select two or three romantic
poems that treat the environment as if it were alive and/or the animals and plants in it
as if they were human, and trace just how they do this, using relevant examples from the
poems you have selected to support your points.
|Read Paul Brian's excellent essay, Romanticism, and write
a summary of it. Then, identify several areas in the essay that help to explain
ideas/images in two or three of the romantic poems you have read. Use examples from the
essay and the poems to support your ideas.
|Do a Google search to find a
well developed www site dealing with women romantic writers. Locate one
who interests you, read some of her poetry, and select one that you'd
like to discuss. Do a copy/paste of the poem to the message box or to
your word processor, and then write a discussion of why this poem is
"romantic," and how you think it expresses a woman's sensibility.
|Do a Google search to find a
well developed www site dealing with "gothic" poetry and its subculture
in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Explore the site carefully,
and explain what "gothic" was in the late 18th and early 19th century,
and how it related to romantic poetry and feeling. Use specific examples
from the poems you have read to support your ideas.
|Compare Ghalib's lyric poems about love and
emotion with two or three European/English romantic poems. Do you see any interesting
differences? Any compelling similarities? Explain, using specific examples from Ghalib and
from the European/English poems you have selected.
|Read Keat's "La Belle Dame sans Merci"
(Volume E, 828-829) and an interesting Japanese story, "Bewitched,"
(Volume D, 629-648) by Akinari. Both
tell of supernatural demons, disguised as lovely ladies, who are in love with mortal men.
Compare the two demons, considering their appearance, their "true" nature, and
how they bewitch the men who fall into their clutches.
(c) Diane Thompson: