'Lines Written In A Lady's Album' by Joseph Rodman Drake
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GRANT me, I cried, some spell of art,
To turn with all a lover's care,
That spotless page, my Eva's heart,
And write my burning wishes there.
But Love, by faithless Laia taught
How frail is woman's holiest vow,
Look'd down, while grace attempered thought
Sate serious on his baby brow.
"Go! blot her album," cried the sage,
"There none but bards a place may claim;
But woman's heart's a worthless page,
Where every fool may write his name."
Until by time or fate decayed,
That line and leaf shall never part;
Ah! who can tell how soon shall fade
The lines of love from woman's heart.
Editor 1 Interpretation
Lines Written In A Lady's Album by Joseph Rodman Drake
I am absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to delve into one of the most iconic poems of the 19th century! Joseph Rodman Drake's Lines Written In A Lady's Album is a true masterpiece that has stood the test of time, and I am beyond thrilled to share my interpretation and criticism of it.
Background Information on the Poem and Its Author
Before we dive into the poem itself, let's take a moment to learn a bit about its author. Joseph Rodman Drake was an American poet who lived from 1795 to 1820. He was a contemporary of other notable poets such as Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Unfortunately, Drake passed away at the young age of 25 due to tuberculosis, leaving behind a relatively small body of work. However, his poetry has had a lasting impact on American literature and is still studied and appreciated today.
Lines Written In A Lady's Album was written in 1816 and first published in The Knickerbocker Magazine in 1839. The poem is Drake's contribution to a common pastime of the time, in which individuals would write sentimental verses in each other's autograph albums or "albums of friendship." These albums were essentially scrapbooks filled with poems, sketches, and other mementos that were exchanged among friends and acquaintances.
The Poem Itself
Now, let's take a look at the poem itself. Here it is in its entirety:
These rhymes thy legacy are, sweet girl! This tablet will they live when thou art dead, And when these locks, now brown, shall be like grey, And when these eyes, now bright, shall be as dim, Still will this tribute blunt oblivion's dart, And save from Lethe's wave one poet's name, Who else would share thy fate, and be forgot. Then, when thou'rt gone, and all that's thine are dead, Still shall this verse embalm thy memory, And win from other hearts as deep a sigh, As if, like me, they would have loved thee well.
At first glance, the poem appears to be a simple expression of affection and admiration for the lady in question. Drake writes that these rhymes will be the girl's legacy and will ensure that she is not forgotten after she is gone. He also mentions that the tribute will save his name from being forgotten as well, implying that the two are connected in some way.
The final lines of the poem are particularly poignant, as Drake suggests that even after the girl and all that is hers have passed away, this verse will still be there to "embalm" her memory and elicit deep emotions from those who read it.
My Interpretation of the Poem
To me, Lines Written In A Lady's Album is a complex and multi-faceted poem that goes beyond a simple expression of admiration for a lady. Drake's use of language and imagery implies a deeper meaning that suggests that the poem is actually a meditation on the power of art to transcend time and mortality.
The first thing that struck me about the poem is the way in which Drake uses the word "legacy" in the opening line. The word implies a lasting impact or influence that extends beyond the immediate moment. By describing the rhymes as the girl's legacy, Drake suggests that they will have a lasting impact even after she is gone. This sets the tone for the rest of the poem, which is essentially a meditation on how art can transcend the limitations of time and mortality.
Drake goes on to describe how the rhymes will "blunt oblivion's dart" and save his name from being forgotten. This implies that the poem is not just a tribute to the girl, but also an attempt by Drake to ensure that his own name and legacy will be preserved. By linking his own legacy to that of the girl, Drake suggests that there is something universal about the power of art to transcend mortality.
The final lines of the poem are particularly interesting, as Drake suggests that even after the girl and all that is hers have passed away, this verse will still be there to "embalm" her memory and elicit deep emotions from those who read it. The use of the word "embalm" is particularly powerful, as it implies a kind of preservation or protection from the decay of time. The fact that Drake suggests that the verse will elicit deep emotions even after the girl and all that is hers have passed away implies that there is something universal and timeless about the emotions and sentiments expressed in the poem.
Criticism of the Poem
While Lines Written In A Lady's Album is certainly a powerful and evocative poem, it is not without its flaws. One criticism that could be leveled against the poem is that it is overly sentimental and romantic. While there is certainly nothing wrong with expressing affection and admiration for someone, some readers might find the language and imagery of the poem to be a bit excessive.
Another criticism that could be leveled against the poem is that it is somewhat narrow in its focus. While Drake suggests that the rhymes will have a universal and timeless quality, the fact remains that the poem is essentially a tribute to one particular person. Some readers might find this limiting, and may prefer a poem that is more expansive in its scope.
Overall, I believe that Lines Written In A Lady's Album is a powerful and evocative poem that speaks to the power of art to transcend time and mortality. While there are certainly criticisms that could be leveled against the poem, I believe that its enduring popularity and impact on American literature is a testament to its lasting power and significance. If you haven't had a chance to read this iconic poem, I highly recommend that you do so!
Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation
Lines Written In A Lady's Album: A Classic Poem by Joseph Rodman Drake
If you're a fan of classic poetry, then you must have come across the beautiful poem, "Lines Written In A Lady's Album" by Joseph Rodman Drake. This poem is a masterpiece that has stood the test of time and continues to inspire and captivate readers even today. In this article, we will take a closer look at this classic poem and explore its themes, structure, and literary devices.
Background and Context
Joseph Rodman Drake was an American poet who lived in the early 19th century. He was born in New York City in 1795 and died at the young age of 25 due to tuberculosis. Despite his short life, he left behind a legacy of poetry that is still celebrated today. "Lines Written In A Lady's Album" is one of his most famous poems and was written in 1819.
The poem was written for a lady's album, which was a popular trend in the 19th century. These albums were like scrapbooks where people would collect poems, quotes, and other writings from their friends and acquaintances. The idea was to create a collection of inspiring and uplifting words that could be read and cherished for years to come.
The poem "Lines Written In A Lady's Album" is a beautiful expression of love and admiration. It is a tribute to the beauty and grace of a woman, and the poet's words are filled with admiration and reverence. The poem is also a celebration of the power of words and the importance of preserving them for future generations.
The poem is written in the form of a sonnet, which is a 14-line poem with a specific rhyme scheme. The rhyme scheme of this sonnet is ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. The poem is divided into two quatrains (four-line stanzas) and two tercets (three-line stanzas). The first quatrain sets the tone for the poem and introduces the theme of beauty and admiration. The second quatrain expands on this theme and emphasizes the importance of preserving these words. The first tercet is a reflection on the power of words, while the second tercet is a final tribute to the lady for whom the poem was written.
The poem "Lines Written In A Lady's Album" is filled with literary devices that enhance its beauty and meaning. Some of the most notable devices include:
Metaphor: The poet uses metaphor to compare the lady's beauty to the beauty of nature. He describes her as "fair as the first beam of the morning" and "lovely as the rose of the summer."
Personification: The poet personifies the album and the words written in it. He describes the album as a "silent messenger" and the words as "living thoughts."
Alliteration: The poet uses alliteration to create a musical quality in the poem. For example, he writes "fair as the first beam" and "lovely as the rose."
Imagery: The poet uses vivid imagery to paint a picture of the lady's beauty. He describes her eyes as "bright as the stars that shine" and her smile as "sweet as the breath of May."
Repetition: The poet uses repetition to emphasize the importance of preserving these words. He repeats the phrase "keep them" several times throughout the poem.
"Lines Written In A Lady's Album" is a classic poem that has stood the test of time. It is a beautiful expression of love and admiration, and a celebration of the power of words. Joseph Rodman Drake's use of literary devices such as metaphor, personification, alliteration, imagery, and repetition, make this poem a masterpiece of English literature. If you haven't read this poem yet, we highly recommend that you do. It is a true gem that will inspire and uplift you for years to come.
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