Write an appreciation of the poem ‘She Walks in Beauty’. The following points covered for appreciation.
- About the poem/poet and the title
- The theme
- Poetic style
- The language/poetic devices used in the poem
- Special features
- Message, values, morals in the poem
- Your opinion about the poem
Appreciation of the poem
‘She Walks in Beauty’
The poem, She Walks in Beauty’ is a poem appreciating female beauty and expressing how outer beauty stems from inner beauty, thus resulting in perfection through harmony. It was written by George, Gordon Byron, well-known as Lord Byron, who was a famous poet from the Romantic era of English literature. He was well-known for his satirical works and was one of the most celebrated and the most controversial poet in 19th century England. The title of the poem is also the first line of the poem, which gives the reader a glimpse of the woman whose beauty the poet appreciated. The title ‘She walks in beauty’ doesn’t mean that the woman is walking beautifully or that she is simply beautiful. It says that she walks “in beauty”, meaning that beauty surrounds her, making her magnificent.
In this poem, the primary theme explored by the poet is that of beauty, where he praises a woman he encounters as being flawless. The other themes are that of the delicate harmony between darkness and light as well as the perfect balance between the mind and the body, which makes the woman beautiful even on the inside.
This 18-line lyrical poem consists of three six-line stanzas, that is, sestets, which are written in iambic tetrameter and consist of alternate rhymes, thus accentuating the poem’s theme of balance and harmony. The poem follows a regular rhyme scheme of ‘abab’ throughout. The language used by the poet is rich and complex, which gives the woman in the poem a very mystical quality. The use of a variety of poetic devices like Alliteration, Antithesis, Consonance, Exclamation, Inversion, Metaphor, Metonymy, Personification, Repetition, and Synecdoche add to the complexity of the poem.
The poet has employed literary devices like enjambment and imagery to enhance its appeal. The visual imagery can be witnessed when the poet compares the woman to a cloudless and starry night, thus laying the foundation of the light and dark theme of the poem. The qualities attributed to the woman’s features ‘mellowed eyes’, ‘wavy raven tresses’, ‘soft and calm face’ paint a beautiful picture of an extraordinarily wonderful woman. The main symbolism in the poem is that the poet presents the woman as someone who is a symbol of purity and innocence.
The message that the poet is trying to convey through this poem is that one can be beautiful on the outside only when one feels beautiful on the inside. Though this poem is largely about the poet trying to capture this woman’s paradoxical beauty, which combines the best of dark and bright, the last stanza focuses on how her stunning appearance stems from her calm, composed mind, and sweet, innocent heart. It is her virtuous nature that gives her beauty that is unparalleled. In my opinion, the poem is full of class and elegance. The poet’s depiction of the woman’s attractiveness and his expression of the woman’s outer beauty being linked to her inner beauty, create a powerful impact on the readers’ minds, thus making them understand the absolute meaning of being beautiful.