Shelley’s Lyricism



Shelley lyrics reflect upon the most astounding achievement of romantic poetry. The beauty and charm of his verse have hardly been surpassed by any English author. “Ode to the Westwind”, “To a Skylark”, “To Night” and various distinctive lyrics of Shelley are the treasure of English literature.

Shelley was significantly delicate and imaginative, especially open to lyrical motivations. His beautiful virtuoso was lyrical. Milton, Wordsworth, Keats were lyrical as well, however Shelley’s lyrical faculty was paramount. His lyrics are personal as well as impersonal. He deals with adoration, nature, future life, regeneration of mankind, and so on. His technique is vivacious and new and he celebrates in it. The flawlessness lies in the combination of imagery and musicality in a lingual authority.

Spontaneity is one of the remarkable features of Shelley’s lyrical poetry. His lyrics appear to have been made without the least effort, arising specifically from his heart. To Morgan, his lyrics blast from the nature, the daylight, the air. Nothing can be a greater number of spontaneous than the accompanying lines, addressed to Skylark.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,

Better than all treasures

That in books are found,

Thy ability to artists were, thou scorner of ground!

In “Adonais”, he calls himself ‘a dying lamp’, ‘a falling shower’, ‘a breaking billow’ which indicates the spontaneity of feelings.

There is a great power of notions in Shelley’s lyrics. Emotions, with him, surpass the normal taints. Normally, he reaches the stage of emotional ecstasy.

A note of sadness experiences a large divide of his lyrics. His best lyrics are yells of pain and anguish. He appears to be shouting like ‘a tired tyke’, wailing away his life. ‘Our sweetest tunes’, to him, ‘are those that relate saddest thought’.

Sometimes, he is basically melancholic. He reveals his covered tragedies, distractions, sufferings, torments in an amazingly painful manner.

Despair is one of the keynotes of his lyrical poetry. He is always aching and craving for the unthinkable. There is little peace in his lyrics. ‘To Night’ reflects his crave and yearning and sigh for the night. This aching can also be found in the ‘Tune’, in which he calls it the ‘Spirit of Delight’.

Shelley’s lyrics are absolutely straightforward, smooth and familiar. This note of easiness adds to their beauty. How basic he is in the accompanying lines, taken from “Ode to the Westwind”:

“The trumpet of an expectation! O, Wind,

In case Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

Shelley’s lyrics are surpassingly musical and sweet. Granted that his lyrics are hollers of pain, however these shouts are beautifully transformed into perfection by sweet music. Without a doubt his most negative lyrics convey an inclination of bliss. It is the sadness of these lyrics which makes them musical. ‘To Night’, ‘Ode to the Westwind’, and so on are masterpieces of musical lyricism.

Many of Shelley’s lyrics are ethereal and abstract. They appear to have been attempted by an inhabitant of the aerial areas. ‘The Cloud’ and ‘Ode to the Westwind’ particularly illustrate this ethereal temper. In ‘Tribute to the Westwind’, he compares ‘detached fogs’ to ‘earth’s decaying leaves’, ‘shook from the appendages of Heaven and Ocean’. It is this kind of poetry which guards the feedback of Shelley as “an ineffectual angel, beating in the void on sparkling wings in vain”.

Shelley’s lyrics are exceedingly adorned arrangements. They abound in ornamental imagery. ‘The Cloud’, and ‘To a Skylark’ are the most striking examples. He paints a beautiful picture of the moon, calling it a ‘silver round’, its rays ‘beam arrows’ and its light, ‘exceptional lamp’.

We find glorious metaphors decorating his lyrical poetry. He compares the skylark to an ‘artist stowed away in the light of thought’ and moon to an ‘orbed maiden with white blaze laden’.

Shelley’s lyrical poetry has a prophetic note soaked with humanism. In ‘Ode to the Westwind’ he gives a memorable message of plan to humanity; ‘If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Despite the fact that a couple of savants accuse Shelley of ineffectuality because of his ethereality and abstractness, yet the majority of the faultfinders are all praise for him by temperance of his lyricism. Saintburyranks Shelley as ‘one of the a couple of major lyrical artists in the English tradition’. ‘There is no essayist’, watches Morgan, ‘not by any means Shakespeare in his lyrics, who has Shelley’s impact of flying creature block spilling and spilling out’.

Shelley’s more sentimental lyrics are next to no appreciated today and perhaps he himself didn’t favor them, for none of them was appropriated in his life time. This flaw mars few of his ballads. In majority of lyrics, he is unsentimental and reasonably careful; rather he joins passion with perception.

Shelley was a remarkable lyrical artist. ‘The Cloud’, ‘To a Skylark’, and ‘Ode to the Westwind’ as lyrical ballads are still ‘unsurpassed and almost unchallenged – the overwhelming lyrics – of the sky.

About Saweel Ur Raheem

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