The romantic period was a very interesting time for poetry. It was a time between 1798-1832 were poets or Romantics were able to get their views across. by nature, these poets were rebellious, unhappy with and unwilling to stand by and not writers about what they saw as wrong. They also rebelled against the literary forms and subjects that had dominated the previous century. Some major writers in Romanticism are Robert Burns, William Blake, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In this essay though we will be talking about Robert burns and William Blake and how they both wanted their views across but in different ways.
Robert Burns was a romantics poet who wrote “to a mouse” and “to a louse” both these poems are a way for him to get his view or his unhappiness with the way life was back then. For example, in “to a mouse” it is all about a man who accidently destroys a mouse nest in his field. He then says “I’m truly sorry man’s dominion has broken nature’s social unit” he says this because he feels bad for the mouse. He then starts to think of how the mouse probable planned for the winter and the barren fields only to have its house destroyed. As he thinks this he also starts to think of how similar the mousses situation is like many of the humans and to his own. He says “That wee bit heap o’ leaves an’ stibble, has cost thee mony a weary nibble! Now thou’s turned out, for a’ thy trouble, but house or hald, to thole the winter’s sleety dribble, an’ cranreuch cauld!”(pg736, 31-36) which is him saying like people the mouse put all this time and planning into his future and his home only to have trouble happen anyway. Though the mouse and humans are the same in the sense that things can go wrong and they live to provide for them self’s they are also different unlike humans the mouse lived in the moment only trying to make it while humans dwell on the past and fear the future. This poem was a way for Burns to tell of the sad truth of how life is and how unfair it is but “to a mouse” wasn’t the only poem that tells of his views “to a louse” does too. “to a louse” is a poem about a man who sees a louse on a beautiful women’s bonnet. as the poet goes on he tells of how ugly the louse is and how such an ugly thing should not be on something so beautiful. He then goes on to tell the louse what to do to get out of the bonnet. Though he tries he can’t get the louse to come out so he thinks of ways to make it stand out but to no avail. So he says “O, Jenny, dinna toss your head,”(pg739) he says this because when lady’s feel think they looked good they would toss their heads back to show their pride but in this case if she did that the louse wouldn’t be able to get away. As he is thinking about the louse though he is also thinking how people view the louse and the women and though the women thinks everything is fine others are pointing and laughing. So as he said “ O wad some Pow’r the gie us to see oursels as ithers see us!”(pg 739) if only we could see ourselves as others see us then we would really see what we are, and not just what we think we are. So even though these are two different poems they were a way for burns to tell his views.
William Blake is another romantics poet. His goal was to break through the normal patterns of thought and to tell of his views and reality. His poems “the lamb” and “the Tyger” did just that. The poem “The lamb” is is a simple poem of a child and a lamb but the underlying message is anything but simple. The poem is about a child asking a lamb if he knew who created him though the lamb doesn’t answer he then goes and says “little lamb I’ll tell thee! He is called by thy name, for he calls himself a lamb:” (748) this part is a little confusing if you are non-religious or follow a different faith but he is talking about god or Jesus and how he is meek and mild like a little child which is talked about in the new testament. You know in the end who the child is talking about because he says “little lamb god bless thee.” So though the poem is simple it is about god and what he was like or said to be like at one point. Another poem he tells about his views or reality of his time is “The Tyger” this poem like the other poem is about something being created. In the poem it is all about questions like in the poem when it says “What immortal hand or eye, could frame thy fearful symmetry?” Or “did he smile his work to see?”(749) all the questions in the poem are to make to think about how things are made and if there is something out there “smiling at his work” though Blake’s poems may seem simple they make you break through the normal thought patterns instead of going with what you are taught he makes you question things with his poems.
Although Robert burns and William Blake seem very different they are actually very much alike. Both poets wrote about things that many in their time didn’t want to talk about. They were also brave enough to share their views and unhappiness’s with the would that many won’t. for example, William writes in “the lamb” about a child asking the lamb were he comes from and who made him. Also his other poem “The Tygar” it is all about question of how the tiger is made and who made him. Many don’t wright about those questions or even about religion because it can be a touchy subject. Like William, Robert also wrote about a touchy subject he talked about in “To a Louse” how even though you can plan and plan for something bad things happen anyway. He also says in the end of to a mouse it says “but, och! I backward cast my e’e on prospects dear! An’ forward, though I cannot see, I guess in fear!”(736) which is him saying humans dwell on the past and fear for the future they don’t know. So even though both poet’s wright of different struggles or views they are still the same in the sense that they put their work out there in a different way and are unwilling to not wright about what they think is wrong or right.
They may be the same but they do have their differences. Many in what topics they wright about Robert burns wrights more about the way humans are and how we not only portray are self’s but the unrationed fears we have of life. Like in “to a mouse” he talks about the way humans fear the future and dwell on the past or even his other poem “to a louse” when he talks about how we portray are self’s one way but are seen to others in a different way and to be able to see what others see will set us free. Both these poems in a way were for him to tell people what they do unconsciously. While William Blake wrights more about religion and the questions not many are willing to question. Like in “TheTyger” it is questioning how the tiger was made and who made it. Though that might seem innocent there is an underlining message of does god make the tiger or it there an immortal being make thing things. See though these two poet’s wright of things many don’t and are both romantics poets there are very different in the things they want to get a crossed and how they do it.
Although both poets are fantastic about what they portrayed I would have to say that Robert Burns was the one who represented the romantic period. I think this because in his poems he talks about the people like their struggles to survive and how unfair it is even though you put in all this planning and time things can go wrong. Or how people portray themselves one way but are still worried about what others think or see. This is what really makes him the best between the two because he is willing to tell of the sad truths of the people and how it really is and not just sugar coated.