Write an essay discussing the following points:
  1. Thoroughly show how the work of literature fits the definition of Romanticism.
  2. Show how the writer’s life affected his/her work.
  3. Show how the work compares in style, character, theme, etc. to other works by the author and to your other assigned work.

James Russell Lowell is a poet who wrote the poem “My Love”. It is a poem about a guy and his love for a girl who he compares to an angel. Lowell is an American author and diplomat. Lowell uses nature to express his feelings towards the angel he is describing in the poem. Lowell’s poetry was greatly affected by his wife Maria. Lowell also uses morals in his poetry. James Russell Lowell is a great Romanticist who uses nature, gets items from his life to write about, and he uses the same type of writing throughout his works.

Lowell’s poems are on the Romanticism side of literature. Lowell, in his poem, “My Love”, uses many aspects of Romanticism. First of all, he uses the generic form of romanticism. He uses romance. Romance is not the main subject of Romanticism though according to Melani, “Romanticism has very little to do with things popularly thought of as "romantic," although love may occasionally be the subject of Romantic art” (Melani). This means that Romanticism has to deal with something else. It chose to deal with nature. Nature is an important aspect in Romanticism. It helps a writer to show their feelings through nature and symbols. Lowell uses many symbols of love in poem. In the beginning, Lowell describes only one girl, he says this one woman is “beneath the silver evening-star, and yet her heart is ever near” (Lowell). Here Lowell is using nature to tell the reader that he feels her though she is not near him. He is also hoping that the wind will blow her his way so he can see her again (Lowell). This uses great symbols in nature to show his meaning for this angel he wants to see. The reader can tell he is comparing her to an angel because he says, “and patiently she folds her wings to tread the humble paths of earth” (Lowell). This shows Romanticism in the romantic way because he is basically saying that she is to goddess like to be on the earth, but he is glad that she is coming soon to be with him.
Lowell uses much Romanticism in the poem when he is talking about when the woman was a child, he says, “the springtime of her childish years hath never lost its perfume” (Lowell, Love ). This shows much Romanticism because he is using nature’s fresh, clean smell to her cleanliness and youthfulness. The biggest use of Romanticism in the poem “My Love” is when Lowell writes, “I love her with a love as still as a broad river’s peaceful night” (Lowell, Love). This is a very deep part of Romanticism because it uses nature in its most defining moments. At night, rivers are peaceful and beautiful. He uses this huge peaceful river to compare his love for this angel.

James Russell Lowell was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on February 22, 1819 (James). His father was Charles Lowell, a Unitarian pastor (James). James liked to go into nature and read poetry. He was introduced to poetry when he was a young boy by his mother; she gave him ballads to read along with romantic poetry (James). This is where Lowell got his start in Romanticism. The poem “My Love” is pertaining to Lowell’s wife. Her name was Maria White. They got married in August 1840 (James). Maria was the aspect of many of his stories. They were married for about twelve years. She influenced most of his poems around this time. Before Lowell met Maria, he felt that he would never find love, just failure (James). In the poem, “My Love”, Lowell is talking about his life without Maria (Lowell, Love). He knows that she is out there somewhere; she just needs to make herself known. He wants to be in love, but his angel has not yet shown her face. Lowell expresses a lot of his love for Maria throughout his poetry.

James Russell Lowell was a fireside poet. Fireside, schoolhouse, poets use a conservative way of presenting their poetry and often have a blatant Moral in their poems (Howard). Lowell wrote a poem called, “The Vision of Sir Launfal”. It is a poem about a nobleman going to do a task and he a dream about throwing a piece of gold at a poor man. The poor man turns out to be Christ and Launfal learns a lesson to be nice to others (Howard). Since Lowell was a fireside poet, most of his stories have a moral or theme to them. The poem “My Love” shows the moral that if you wait long enough and treat a woman with respect, they will come to you. Maria, his wife affected much of his writings. She was in a great deal of his poems. The poem “After the Burial” is about Maria after she dies (Lowell, Burial). He talks about her with such great love, a reader can tell that he loved her dearly and is sad to see her go.

James Russell Lowell is a poet who puts his feelings into his poems. He uses much Romanticism in his writings and uses it to express how he feels by pertaining it to nature. His wife, Maria also influenced his poems and writings a lot also. Lowell keeps a major theme throughout his poems by talking about his love for his wife and always having a moral to his stories.

Works Cited

"James Russell Lowell." NNDB: Tracking the Entire World. Soylent Communications, 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. <http://nndb.com/people/001/000097707/>.

Lowell, James R. "James Russell Lowell's Poem: After The Burial." Read Book Online: Literature Books,novels,short Stories,fiction,non-fiction, Poems,essays,plays,Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize. Redbookonline, 2010. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. <http://www.readbookonline.net/readOnLine/7259/>.

Lowell, James R. "My Love, by James Russell Lowell." Poetry Archive | Poems. Cambridge: Riverside
Press, 2002. Web. 10 Dec. 2010. <http://www.poetry-archive.com/l/my_love.html>.

Howard, Leon. Victorian Knight-Errant: A Study of the Early Literary Career of James Russell Lowell. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1952.

Melani, Lilia. "Romanticism." Romanticism. Brooklyn College, 12 Feb. 2010. Web. 09 Dec. 2010. http://academic.brooklyn.cuny.edu/english/melani/cs6/rom.html.