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Thread: She Walks In Beauty

  1. #1
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    She Walks In Beauty

    I happened upon this poem, and I found it quite captivating and beautiful. It draws upon elements of which I cannot resist with the allusions to the night and the traces of darkness behind the Romanticism of it.

    She Walks In Beauty

    She walks in Beauty, like the night
    Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
    And all that's best of dark and bright
    Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
    Thus mellowed to that tender light
    Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.
    One shade the more, one ray the less,
    Had half impaired the nameless grace
    Which waves in every raven tress,
    Or softly lightens o'er her face;
    Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
    How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

    And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
    So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
    The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
    But tell of days in goodness spent,
    A mind at peace with all below,
    A heart whose love is innocent!

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #2
    Wild is the Wind Silas Thorne's Avatar
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    Oh yes, but darkness and light. She is a mixture.
    The stars, the stars, and moon are bright! Those cloudless climes are not dark night.

    I love this poem too. It was one of the first poems I learnt to read from memory.
    '...the rain
    is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
    Upon the glass and listen for reply'

    Edna St. Vincent Millay, 'What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why'

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    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    I'm quite fond of this poem too. Although, I've always found the woman in the poem not to be all that appealing. She seems so empty and superficial, even though Byron is so wonderful at describing that superficial beauty.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

  4. #4
    The Poetic Warrior Dark Muse's Avatar
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    I do not find her superficial and do not feel she is being described in that way. I think she is wrapped within a viel of mystery and perhaps she is guarded.

    Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before. ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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    That's one of my favourites too. I always think of it like a companion piece to another of his, although I haven't checked when they were written or anything, but I love When We Two Parted, which I imagine was written about his half-sister, or perhaps his wife, (but why the secrecy?). SWIB could be the beginning and this the end of the (incestuous) relationship.

    When we two parted
    Lord Byron

    When we two parted
    In silence and tears,
    Half broken-hearted,
    To sever for years,
    Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
    Colder thy kiss;
    Truly that hour foretold
    Sorrow to this.

    The dew of the morning
    Sank chill on my brow
    It felt like the warning
    Of what I feel now.
    Thy vows are all broken,
    And light is thy fame:
    I hear thy name spoken,
    And share in its shame.

    They name thee before me,
    A knell to mine ear;
    A shudder comes o'er me
    Why wert thou so dear?
    They know not I knew thee,
    Who knew thee too well:
    Long, long shall I rue thee
    Too deeply to tell.

    In secret we met
    In silence I grieve
    That thy heart could forget,
    Thy spirit deceive.
    If I should meet thee
    After long years,
    How should I greet thee?
    With silence and tears.

    When we two parted
    Lord Byron

    I love those lines
    They know not I knew thee,
    Who knew thee too well:


    with their implications of secrecy and mystery. I suppose it could have been anyone though, with George's track record

  6. #6
    Wild is the Wind Silas Thorne's Avatar
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    It is a personal thing, whether or not you like the woman or not, but the focus does seem to be on the woman's appearance here, and how her goodness and innocence is expressed through it.
    '...the rain
    is full of ghosts tonight, that tap and sigh
    Upon the glass and listen for reply'

    Edna St. Vincent Millay, 'What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why'

  7. #7
    Out of my mind Sara Izzie's Avatar
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    I first read this poem 7 years ago, when I was twelve years old, and my aunt translated it for me because I did not know english that well back then. I immediately fell in love with it, it's one of my favorite poems! It gets me everytime I read it.
    What I find very interesting is that it starts out with a powerful simile: "She walks in Beauty, like the night / Of cloudless climes and starry skies / And all that's best of dark and bright / Meet in her aspect and her eyes". It's a wonderful image and those are the lines that I love most, I always feel compelled to imagine this graceful, beautiful and somehow mysterious woman being perfect in Byron's eyes, especially with all the traits highlighted by the poet. It's like a portrait that is written down instead of being painted on canvas. Amazing.

    ps: I'm sorry for any grammar mistakes, english is not my first language
    "If you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better" (J.K.Rowling)


  8. #8
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wessexgirl View Post
    That's one of my favourites too. I always think of it like a companion piece to another of his, although I haven't checked when they were written or anything, but I love When We Two Parted, which I imagine was written about his half-sister, or perhaps his wife, (but why the secrecy?). SWIB could be the beginning and this the end of the (incestuous) relationship.

    When we two parted
    Lord Byron

    When we two parted
    In silence and tears,
    Half broken-hearted,
    To sever for years,
    Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
    Colder thy kiss;
    Truly that hour foretold
    Sorrow to this.

    The dew of the morning
    Sank chill on my brow
    It felt like the warning
    Of what I feel now.
    Thy vows are all broken,
    And light is thy fame:
    I hear thy name spoken,
    And share in its shame.

    They name thee before me,
    A knell to mine ear;
    A shudder comes o'er me
    Why wert thou so dear?
    They know not I knew thee,
    Who knew thee too well:
    Long, long shall I rue thee
    Too deeply to tell.

    In secret we met
    In silence I grieve
    That thy heart could forget,
    Thy spirit deceive.
    If I should meet thee
    After long years,
    How should I greet thee?
    With silence and tears.

    When we two parted
    Lord Byron

    I love those lines
    They know not I knew thee,
    Who knew thee too well:


    with their implications of secrecy and mystery. I suppose it could have been anyone though, with George's track record
    Sorry for one minute I thought I was reading Shakespeare.
    What is actually going on in this piece?

    The dew of the morning There is only one dew and that is in the morning? why is it being repeated?
    Sank chill on my brow Dew is never cold and how did manage to get it to sink in his brow?
    the reason why dew is called dew is because it warms up then forms into a dew.


    It felt like the warning
    Of what I feel now.
    this does not make sense.

    And light is thy fame:
    I hear thy name spoken,
    And share in its shame
    shame what shame?


    I don't get the whole thing.There is a lot of THEE THEE THEE and not enough THIS!.
    Last edited by cacian; 08-03-2012 at 11:42 AM.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

  9. #9
    Artist and Bibliophile stlukesguild's Avatar
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    Are we actually discussing literature on LitNet? Is that actually allowed? No endless games? Inane polls? Debates concerning the Olympics?

    What is so difficult to grasp in this poem? It seems rather straightforward to me.

    The dew of the morning
    Sank chill on my brow
    It felt like the warning
    Of what I feel now.
    Thy vows are all broken,
    And light is thy fame:
    I hear thy name spoken,
    And share in its shame.


    The dew of the morning There is only one dew and that is in the morning? why is it being repeated?

    What is being repeated? Personally I have encountered dew in the evening and at night, but I don't think morning, noon, or night is a big issue here. Byron has merely established that suggests that after taking leave of his lover in the early hours... in the morning... the dew settles cold on his forehead like a cold sweat... like the love that has grown cold... and that he should have recognized this "cold sweat" for what it was... a warning of his feelings of loss... regret (shame).
    Beware of the man with just one book. -Ovid
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  10. #10
    Registered User Darcy88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Are we actually discussing literature on LitNet? Is that actually allowed? No endless games? Inane polls? Debates concerning the Olympics?
    Literature? What is this thing of which you speak? Is that a latin word? I am not familiar with it.

    Now I'll post again in this thread when I discover something to rant about. But literature......bah.



    Edit: I actually just now read the poem. Beautiful. I love it. Romantic indeed. Thank you for sharing it Dark Muse.
    Last edited by Darcy88; 08-03-2012 at 12:47 PM.

  11. #11
    Registered User neilgee's Avatar
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    I liked reading this thread, esp the two poems, Byron is one of those poets I hear more about than I read the works of and am perhaps a little prejudiced against him anyway because he did that usually fatal thing to a poet's long-term reputation of being successful in his own lifetime.
    What are regrets? Just lessons we haven't learned yet - Beth Orton

  12. #12
    Dance Magic Dance OrphanPip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post

    What is being repeated? Personally I have encountered dew in the evening and at night, but I don't think morning, noon, or night is a big issue here. Byron has merely established that suggests that after taking leave of his lover in the early hours... in the morning... the dew settles cold on his forehead like a cold sweat... like the love that has grown cold... and that he should have recognized this "cold sweat" for what it was... a warning of his feelings of loss... regret (shame).
    It is a pretty straightforward poem. I think what works well in it is how the poem uses the second line as a sort of anchor. The 2nd stanza evokes the tears, and the 3rd the silence by describing his feeling of hearing others discuss the love object.
    "If the national mental illness of the United States is megalomania, that of Canada is paranoid schizophrenia."
    - Margaret Atwood

  13. #13
    confidentially pleased cacian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stlukesguild View Post
    Are we actually discussing literature on LitNet? Is that actually allowed? No endless games? Inane polls? Debates concerning the Olympics?

    What is so difficult to grasp in this poem? It seems rather straightforward to me.

    The dew of the morning
    Sank chill on my brow
    It felt like the warning
    Of what I feel now.
    Thy vows are all broken,
    And light is thy fame:
    I hear thy name spoken,
    And share in its shame.


    The dew of the morning There is only one dew and that is in the morning? why is it being repeated?

    What is being repeated? Personally I have encountered dew in the evening and at night, but I don't think morning, noon, or night is a big issue here. Byron has merely established that suggests that after taking leave of his lover in the early hours... in the morning... the dew settles cold on his forehead like a cold sweat... like the love that has grown cold... and that he should have recognized this "cold sweat" for what it was... a warning of his feelings of loss... regret (shame).
    Stlukes thank you for posting.
    I am sure I read somewhere the dew only occur in the morning as the fresher unfold, night time is more humity or condensation which is different.Plants draw out fresheness as they come alive again. Hence the feeling of very crips reviviing of fresheness very early in the morning. This is due to dew.
    Anyway that is what I know.
    it may never try
    but when it does it sigh
    it is just that
    good
    it fly

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