Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Romantic Rock

Romantic Rock

Not because I'm obsessed with iconic writers*, but just how fantastic are the Romantic Poets?

Whatever your views on literature here, and even if you don't know a Romantic poet from your, um, elbow, you should be nodding along as to their greatness. If you don't trust me on anything else, trust me on this one. The Romantics rock.

And not just because of the beauty of their writing, or even for the way they lived their lives. Not even because they make a coherent whole**. But because in a time when the power of the individual was pretty limited and George III and/or his overweight son had more than enough power to keep them in wigs and, erm, pies for the rest of their lives, these Poets dared to articulate the power of the individual. Obviously there's a huge difference between Byron's aspirational figures and the Wordsworthian notion of man at one with the comos. But together these people gave us the notion of the individual. Above any wonderings about daffodils, tragic deaths, questionable sex lives, drug addictions and changing viewpoints, this is their legacy. And what a legacy to have.

*Though I am.

**They were never all in one room together, and had they have been there would probably have been a punch up, in true Bowyer and Dyer style, within about thirty seconds.


Billygean said...

Keats is my absolute favourite poet ever. Best era!

Corinne said...

Definitely the best era, though I'm a bit of a Byron fan I must confess.

Billygean said...

Ah - I need to read more Byron. Would you believe we haven't studied the Romantic poets yet this year, nor is there option to next year! The closest we've got is Tennyson. In memoriam really DOES make me feel as if i'm dying a slow death too :S