Romanticism Warm Up How Romantic Are You? Characteristics of Romanticism Writing Prompt Homework “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelingâ€‌

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Romanticism Warm Up How Romantic Are You? Characteristics of Romanticism Writing Prompt Homework Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling -William Wordsworth Slide 2 Warm Up What does it mean to call something Romantic? Describe something romantic. Essential Question: What are the characteristics of Romantic Literature? Slide 3 Agree or Disagree? 1.The answers to life s most puzzling questions can be found through discussions with a simple person who lives in the country close to nature - not with a sophisticated, well-educated person from the city. 2. The answer to life s most puzzling questions can be found through a connection with nature. 3.The use of one s imagination is more important than rational thought. 4.Subjectivity is more important than objectivity. 5.Knowledge is gained through gut reactions and subjective hunches rather than level-headed, objective, deductive thought. 6.Nature is more important than art. 7.Experimental trial and error is a better process than the conventional scientific method. 8.Poetry should be spontaneous and full of emotion, not planned and straightforward. 9.Sensitivity, feelings, and spontaneity are more important than intellectualism. 10. Dare to be is a better battle-cry than dare to know. Slide 4 How Romantic Are You? Key: 3 or fewer As = Not Romantic 4 or 5 As = Sort of Romantic 6 or 7 As = Highly Romantic 8-10 As = Extremely Romantic Slide 5 Romantic Characteristic The Romantics Believed Interest in the common man and childhood in the natural goodness of humans which is hindered by urban life of civilization. They believed that the savage is noble, childhood is good and the emotions inspired by both beliefs causes the heart to sore. Strong senses, emotions, and feelings that knowledge is gained through intuition rather than deduction. Awe of nature in stressing the awe of nature in art and language and the experience of sublimity through a connection with nature. Celebration of the individual in elevating the achievements of the misunderstood, heroic individual outcast. Importance of imagination in legitimizing the individual imagination as a critical authority. Slide 6 The Romantic Sensibility The development of slums and poverty due to the Industrial Revolution turned people from Rationalism Romantics believed that imagination, emotion, spontaneity, feelings, and nature were more important than rational thought Slide 7 Early Romanticism Inspired by the beauty of nature Emphasized emotions and the imagination over reason Celebrated the individual spirit Slide 8 Transcendentalists Emphasized living a simple life Stressed a close relationship to nature Celebrated emotions and the imagination Stressed individualism and self-reliance Believed intuition can lead to knowledge Believed in the inherent goodness of people Encouraged spiritual well-being over financial well-being Slide 9 American Gothics Did not believe in the innate goodness of people Explored the human capacity for evil Probed the inner life of characters Explored characters motivations Agreed with romantic emphasis on emotion, nature, and the individual Included elements of fantasy and the supernatural in works Slide 10 Your Understanding Of Romanticism Directions: in two paragraphs, write about how your understanding of Romanticism has changed by answering the following questions: Briefly describe your original definition of Romantic. How is your definition of Romantic similar to and different from Romanticism? After reviewing the characteristics of Romanticism, how has your definition of Romanticism changed? Slide 11 Romanticism Warm Up New Seats Longfellow and Romantic Poetry Homework Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling -William Wordsworth Slide 12 Warm Up Think of a person you know or have read about who has led a life style you truly admire. How has this person made a difference in the world? Describe the impact on family, community, or country. Essential Question: What characteristics of Romantic Literature are found in Longfellows poetry? Slide 13 HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW (1807-1882) Slide 14 Emersons Distaste In his famous essay "The Poet," Emerson claims that men who are skilled in the use of words are not true poets, saying, "...we do not speak now of men of poetical talents, or of industry and skill in metre, but of the true poet" (qtd. in Richards, 103). And slightly later, he adds, "For it is not metres, but a metre-making argument, that makes a poem" (104). According to Emerson, a poet who values form over thought is not a poet at all, but rather merely a skilled manipulator of words. For him, a poet must be the articulator of some genuine thought or argument; it does not suffice to merely create a poem solely on the sound and effect of words. In 1844, the same year that Emerson published his essay, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published "The Day is Done," a poem that argues directly against the point made in "The Poet." Longfellow is hyperaware of the meter, rhyme, word choice, and overall sound of his poem; in fact, those elements are what make the poem a cohesive and successful piece of work. As a result of Longfellow's attention to the effect of the words and seeming disregard for what Emerson would call a "metre-making argument," "The Day is Done" serves as a counter-argument to Emerson's initial claim. Slide 15 Major Themes, Historical Perspectives, and Personal Issues Longfellow's themes in the poems in this collection are nearly indistinguishable from those of his contemporaries in England. It's useful to show him, therefore, as an example of the branch of American literature that created itself in admiring imitation of English literature. He is also that rare thing, a genuine celebrity of a poet, whose fame has subsided and whose stature has shrunk accordingly. Many of the poems we now admire most are from his later years, and conform better to modern taste than the poems for which he was famous in his lifetime. Thus, he can be used as a good example of the ways in which changing literary tastes alter literary reputations. Slide 16 Significant Form, Style, or Artistic Conventions Longfellow's poems are not only accessible in their meaning, but they are also highly regular in their form. It is very simple to teach metrics with Longfellow because he provides easy and memorable examples of so many metrical schemes. These can be presented in connection with Longfellow's personal history, for he is of course an academic poet, and as such a poet writing often self-consciously from a learned perspective. Thus, nothing with him seems wholly spontaneous or accidental. Slide 17 A Psalm of Life Slide 18 A Psalm of Life Critical Analysis Longfellow once said that if a poet wishes the world to listen and be edified, he will do well to choose a language that is generally understood. Early critics of A Psalm of Life appreciated what they saw as the simple beauty of Longfellows language. One early reviewer wrote in The North American Review in 1840 that Longfellows poems are filled with solemn pathos, uttered in the most melodious and picturesque language.... [How] rare is it to find poetry to compare with [A Psalm of Life]. Another critic, writing in The Christian Examiner, stated that A Psalm of Life is equally admirable for its simplicity, manly fervor, dignity, and truth. But not all of Longfellows contemporaries valued his high moral tone and his didacticism his obvious efforts to teach moral truths. Edgar Allan Poe, for instance, writing in Grahams Magazine, condemned Longfellow for making didacticism... the prevalent tone of his song. Poes complaint was not with Longfellows moral lesson, as such, but with Longfellows method of driving home that lesson: We do not mean to say that a didactic moral may not be well made the undercurrent of a poetical thesis, but that it can never be well put so obtrusively.... Slide 19 A Psalm of Life Critical Analysis Twentieth-century critics have tended to agree with Poes assessment that A Psalm of Life is overly didactic. Indeed, the word didactic surfaces repeatedly in twentieth-century criticism of the poem. Howard Mumford Jones, in an essay titled Longfellow, characterized A Psalm of Life as an obvious and awful didactic piece, though he did appreciate the poems admirable fourth stanza. And another critic, Alfred Kreymborg, in Our Singing Strengths: An Outline of American Poetry, caustically described A Psalm of Life as nine jingling verses, dripping with a larger number of clichs than any other poem in the language. Perhaps because of the poems obvious moral tone, by the middle of the twentieth century, critics had largely stopped writing about it. Still, in 1993, Dana Gioia, writing in The Columbia History of American Poetry, noted the longevity or continuing fame of A Psalm of Life: This menacingly upbeat poem refuses to die. Gioia argues that A Psalm of Life has remained in favor with popular (as opposed to scholarly) audiences precisely because of its obvious moral lessons. Gioia suggests, moreover, that the very clichs that Kreymborg so disliked are exactly what draw readers to the poem. While preachy clichs or proverbs might not make for good poetry, Gioia reasons, they have tremendous popular appeal: A Psalm of Life fails as lyric poetry, Gioia states, because it belongs to a different genre, inspirational didactic verse. Slide 20 The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls