Selected Poems Paperback
Part of the Dover Thrift Editions series
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 112 pages
- Publisher: Dover Publications Inc.
- Publication Date: 01/02/1994
- Category: Poetry by individual poets
- ISBN: 9780486277844
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Review by Luli81
My first contact with the most known <i> satanical </i> Romantic poet hasn’t disappointed. Lord Byron emerges in his poems as the immensely popular hero, defiant, melancholy, haunted by secret guilt, the eternal scandalous irreverent freethinker. <i>We are the fools of Time and Terror: DaysSteal on us, and steal from us; yet we live,Loathing our life, and dreading still to die . </i> <b>Manfred</b>Although this selection doesn’t include his famous <i> Don Juan </i>, I have found plenty of passion and strong emotion in his stanzas, specially in <i>Cain: a Mystery </i>, where he keeps defying not only religious convention, giving Lucifer a clergyman voice:Speaking about Lucifer<i>CAIN. He is God.ADAH. How know’st thou?CAIN. He speaks like A God.ADAH. So did the Serpent, and it lied.</i>but also unashamedly proclaiming his widely known extravagant views on relationships in, for example, making ADAH not only CAIN’s sister but also his wife and lover.Writer of metaphysical poems, like his famous <b>Manfred</i>, Byron rejects the Wordsworthian belief in the benevolence of Nature and insists on the independence and self-sufficiency of the human mind, which doesn’t bow to any supernatural authority.<i> I have not been thy dupe nor am thy prey,But was my own destroyer, and will beMy own hereafter. – Back, ye baffled fiends!The hand of death is on me – but not yours!</i>At the same time though, I find a kind of paradox in Byron’s style and the content of his poems. His almost neoclassical order and formal discipline collide with his exulting ideas impregnated with vigorous thoughts of liberty and satirical criticism. <i>TyrannyIs far the worst of treasons. Dost thou deemNone rebels except subjects? The prince whoNeglects or violates his trust is moreA brigand than the robber-chief.</i> <b> The Two Foscari</b> But one thing in common in all his poems is this new figure of the <b> Gothic Hero-Villain</b> full of pride, courage, and even noble virtues such as honor and altruism; but also moody, remorseful, alienated and oppressed in loneliness and incomprehension. Difficult to tell whether Byron was absorbed into his own created characters or he projected his sensitive experiences through them.And I find great appeal in this flawed new anti-hero, sensing different motivations behind Byron’s works. Lacking the inhibitions of his contemporaries, he created verse that is exuberant, spontaneous, digressive and lucid, celebration of an “unadorned reality.”One can’t help but admire him. With all his debauchery and flaws.