Swinburne, Love and Sleep

This is a particularly straightforward poem about love and sleep. It has certain elements of the Gothic, such as the description of his love’s “smooth skinned…bare throat need to bite.” This line brings about images of vampires, hence the reference to the Gothic. The rest of the poem, however, does not rely on any Gothic images and instead focuses on details of the woman’s face. Delight is capitalized but not personified. I think it is capitalized for emphasis, in order to give the word more weight.

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Swinburne, The Sundew

This is a love poem for summer. The sundew is a representation of summer. The speaker, in first person, captures the beauty of summer with lines like “we are vexed and cumbered in earth’s sight/with wants, with many memories.” This poem reminds me a little bit of the Romantics, with its focus on nature and its representation of hope. I particular like Swinburne’s focus on the minuscule sundew in order to explore the beauty of summer.

Swinburne, A Cameo

Swinburne capitalizes various abstract notions such as Desire, Pain, Pleasure, Satiety, and Death. The poem begins with Desire which Swinburne uses to create a distinction between youth and old age. To me, these couple of lines show that age is not necessarily defined by number but rather by the ability of an individual to still desire things and to dream. Desire is accompanied by Pain and Pleasure. Pain is personified with the body of fire and Pleasure is personified “with gaunt hands,” meaning that it is waning with each. The old try to hold on with “insatiable Satiety” but the past is haunting them and Death is coming.