To A Skylark Poem Analysis

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The ideas of romanticism are clearly manifested in “To a Skylark”, a poem written by Percy Bysshe Shelly in 1820. Such ideas are metaphorically represented throughout the poem by various bodies of nature, mainly the skylark. Shelly is attempting to imitate the bird. He wants to be to his readers what the bird is to him; an unseen being whose presence can still be detected through its art. The first stanza starts off by referring to the skylark as a “blithe spirit”. The bird itself is a physical being with flesh and blood, however, Shelly describes it as a non-physical being, or a spirit. In the poem, Shelly himself is listening to the beautiful music of this bodiless musician, the skylark. Its invisibility is what essentially gives the bird a spirit like quality. “Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight”. Although unseen because it is flying high up in the “heavens”, the skylark’s presence can…show more content…
It is natural and therefore more authentic. It is like the skylark’s music, which to Shelly is a form of “unpremeditated art”, meaning art that is not preconceived or thought out. The song of the skylark is spontaneous and natural. According to the romantic tradition, there is more truth in nature and spontaneity therefore making it more beautiful and perfect. The romantics always favored nature over order. Nature has not been altered by reason; it is pure. This idea is clearly shown in this poem through the various similes and metaphors almost all of which have to do with nature. The skylark, the “cloud of fire”, the “golden lining of the sunken sun”, the “purple evening”, the “stars of heaven”, etc. Shelly makes very little mention of anything man-made. He uses almost solely metaphors of nature to try and capture the beauty of this unseen presence, which directly goes along with the romantic tradition of finding the truth in
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