‘Romance’ is a poem written by the great American poet Edgar Allan Poe. He writes this poem as a preface to his other edition. When the poem first appeared in the world in 1829, there was no title.
Later the poem received a title called ‘Romance’. The title of the poem speaks about the theme and that gets top priority. The title says that the poem talks about ‘romanticism’. In this poem, romance is being compared with ‘bird’.
At the beginning of the poem, the poem talks about romance. Romance is there where people love to nod and sing. ‘Nod’ means shaking the head, so, those who have romance, shake their head and sing. They sing with drowsy heads and with folded wings.
“Among the green leaves as they shake
Far down within some shadowy lake,”
By these two lines, the poet says they shake heads among the green leaves and also far down from the shadowy lake. These produce deep pathos where all people take pleasure from romance.
To the poet, a painting of a paroquet becomes a family bird. ‘Paroquet’ is a bird-like parrot that taught the poet to utter alphabets. So, to the poet, it is also a romance with a bird.
“To lisp my very earliest word
While in the wild wood I did lie,
A child—with a most knowing eye.”
The bird helps him lisp his very first words and when he lied in the wild forest, a child knew him with his most knowing eyes.
The parrot has the power to speak and it taught the poet many things. In the tale eternal years, he shakes his head to the high heaven, and with the tumult, they thundered.
So, these lines look very fragmented though they have important meanings. The poet is comparing his love, romance with the birds, and he makes a reference to heaven and birds.
“I have no time for idle cares
Through gazing on the unquiet sky.”
Now, they don’t have so much time to spend on the idle cares of the sky by gazing at its uniqueness. Edgar Allan Poe always moves away from one portion to another portion very quickly.
In this poem also he had done the same. Now, he further utters that when the wings will get calmer by an hour, it will get down to the world and on the spirit of the poet.
“The little time with lyre and rhyme
To while away—forbidden things!
My heart would feel to be a crime
Unless it trembled with the strings.”
Here, the poet is saying that the little time fills with “lyre and rhymes”. Lyre and rhymes are two musical components that again make the poem better.
The would-be feeling of having a crime unless it trembled with the strings. The poem first started with romance and at the last Poe ends with musical strings.
The poem is about romance just like the title. In this poem, Poe talks about a bird whom he calls ‘family bird’. He gets to know many words from the bird and the music of the bird was very nice. He further compares the tune with musical instruments.
We can take a reference from his other poem ‘Israfel’ where he talks of the voice of the angel. Maybe in this poem, he also takes that reference to express the power of music. Throughout the poem, Poe connects romance with music.
Extreme romantic imagination and its execution are the major themes of the poem. Except that, some musical instruments and tunes are acclaimed.
So that music also a theme of this poem. Edgar Allan Poe’s writing style is very fragmented and that is a major part of Poe’s poetry.
The poem ‘Romance’ is consists of a total of twenty-one lines. The rhyme scheme of the poem is ‘AABB CDCD EE FEEFE GG HIHI’. In this poem, we can find some major literary devices just like Imagery, Symbolism, Consonance, etc.
Imagery is one of the significant literary devices that we can see in the poem. Imageries are being used to show an image to the readers.
“who loves to nod and sing,
With drowsy head and folded wing,”
Then comes Symbolism, which means a word that expresses a symbol. Like “Condor” is a symbol of birds and their activities.
Enjambment is another relevant rhetorical device that means a continuation of thoughts even to the next stanza Like,
“While in the wild wood, I did lie,
A child—with a most knowing eye.”
These are all the literary devices that we find in this poem. Poe does not use many rhetorical devices in this poem.
What is “Romance” by Edgar Allan Poe about?
The poem is about Poe’s view on romance.
Was Edgar Allan Poe a romantic?
From some perspectives, we can call Poe a romantic poet.
Who was Edgar Allan Poe’s fiance?
Sarah Elmira Royster Shelton was his fiance.