Elizabeth Browning was one of the most prominent pillars of poetry during the Victorian era. Her poetry was not only popular in England, but also in the United States. Amongst all the women poets in the English-speaking world, none could outshine the tremendous admiration and courage of the Elizabeths work in the nineteenth century ("Elizabeth Barrett Browning: The Poetry Foundation"). Barrett was famous for her poetry work and although she was fighting the act of slavery from which her familys fortune was based on, she was also fighting with lung illness. All of this did not weary her down as she was profound in the world of art.
Her poem, How Do I Love Thee? is one of the most famous poems amongst her collection, which was written during her courtship with Robert Browning. In all her poems, there is life felt in them such that even if the name were to be changed, one would never mistake her work. She wrote a collection of the poet known as The Seraphim and Other Poems in 1838 which caught the attention of her fellow poet Robert. After the admiring letter, the couples were married and moved to Italy ("Elizabeth Barrett Browning: The Poetry Foundation"). Her poems were magical and romantic enough to catch the eye of the reader. In the collection of 44 love sonnets, it is clear how she had dedicated her love to write. In her line, How do I love thee? Let me count the ways indicated that Elizabeths writing was influenced by the fact that she had a terminal illness and parents whom she did not uphold their behaviors ("Elizabeth Barrett Browning: The Poetry Foundation").
Her poetry is full of emotions about life and love. The way one does not have an ultimatum to be aware of when they will stop living or when love comes. In her poetry Love, she states that the souls choice and the conscience is what draws and compel another soul, and they concentrate on making a mere life. In a line that states for life in perfect, whole and aims consumed, is love in sooth. Elizabeths writing in the nineteenth century was an act of empowerment to the women as it was hard to find an educated woman ("Elizabeth Barrett Browning: The Poetry Foundation"). Middle-class women were especially neglected, Barrett Browning, despite her romantic escapades and writing, she wrote challengingly and vehemently against gender inequality.
She made sure that she was well educated and even took it upon herself to educate herself fully and to the highest level to indicate that the middle-class women could read too ("Elizabeth Barrett Browning: The Poetry Foundation." She made it her role to not only present herself as a poetry who wrote about love, nature, and religion but also as an activist for social and political issues like slavery, manipulation of power, nationalism, industrialization, among others. In her poems on the Romaunt Margaret, A Romance of the Ganges, The Romance of the Swan Nest among others were written to criticize the secondary role of women in the society and the way in which institution of marriage oppressed them. She was an embodiment of change.
Charles Baudelaires poetry and the role one perceive for him as a poet
Charles Pierre Baudelaire was a poet from French, and he produced his poetry as an essayist and a critic. Contrary to Elizabeth, who majored on romance and love, his major theme lied on the critics and pioneering translator of Edgar Allan Poe ("Charles Baudelaire - Charles Baudelaire Poems - Poem Hunter").He is most famous for his poem The Flowers of Evil, which indicated the nature of beauty in the modern, industrializing Paris. His style is one of a kind as he was known to coin the word modern to sound and designate fleeting and experience in an urban metropolis. He was a charming poet who expressed his themes in a symbolic manner and a twisted approach like a puzzle. In one of the poems, he inexplicably explains his idea in a poignant way that leaves his audience a gasp. In a line that states, who among us has not dreamt, in a moment of ambitions, of the miracle of poetic prose, musical without rhythm and rhyme, supple and staccato enough to adapt to the lyrics stirring of the soul, the undulations of the dreams and sudden leaps of consciousness("Charles Baudelaire - Charles Baudelaire Poems - Poem Hunter"). He could come up with an idea and put it into action. He uses a tone and mode that portray the rejection of belief in the nature of supremacy and the welfare of man. His main prospective is the well-being of the urban sensibility.
He uses irony to create his atmosphere and develops ideas with symbols. Charles is more in advocating the human rights like the role of women, the theological direction through the advocacy of Satanism, drug abuse, democracy, and the impacts it might have on the individuals. He had emotional distress and illness, but it did not deter him from writing as he published his first poem in 1857 ("Charles Baudelaire - Charles Baudelaire Poems - Poem Hunter"). He also described themes like sex, death, profane love, lesbianism, melancholy, corruption, oppression among others. Unlike Elizabeth, Baudelaire way of invoking feelings through the smell and fragrance created the mode of intimacy and nostalgia.
The essence of writing and settling in different topics yet close has something to do with the gender. Elizabeths poetry was much dominated by issues of women role, love, romance, and marriage. On the other hand, Baudelaire poetry focused on criticizing the social, political and religious issues in the society. The way each of them presented their work indicated the different role they had. Baudelaire invoked emotion and made people feel while Elizabeth involved people even in her life so they could learn. They also shared common themes like love, oppression, and democracy, but they were put in a different platform according to the circumstances and exposure. Baudelaire and Elizabeth used poetry not only for pleasure, but also to enlighten, educate and instilling moral values. Their poetry made their roles be one of a hero and heroine. They both were the embodiment of peace, justice, and truth.
"Elizabeth Barrett Browning : The Poetry Foundation". Poetryfoundation.org. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.
"Charles Baudelaire - Charles Baudelaire Poems - Poem Hunter". Poemhunter.com. N.p., 2016. Web. 13 Apr. 2016.
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