Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Arthur Hugh Clough 1819-1861

Our textbook describes Clough as “clever, witty, and ironic.” Clough was humorous in his writings as he began to write early in his career. Clough was a Christian and was concerned that Christianity was starting to lose its ground. Clough wrote about this when he wrote Epi-staruss-ium.
In Epi-strauss-ium, Clough used his irony early on. When he wrote:
Matthew and Mark and Luke and holy John
evanished all and gone!
I believe that Clough is saying that Christianity is gone. I believe that he is saying that the Gospels talked about in the Bible is not true or no one believes in them anymore. As this writing continues, Clough writes:
The place of worship the meantime with light
Is, if less richly, more sincerely bright,
and in blue skies the Orb is manifest to sight
and based on this, Clough is continuing to say that Christianity is no longer.
He continues through this writing, making references that Christianity is not alive and money is now the target of people’s thoughts. In the second part of this writing Clough writes:
Thou shalt one God only; who
Would be at the expense of two?
No graven images may be
Worshipped, except for the currency.
I believe in this part that Clough is making reference that in the society of that time, people had started cherishing two gods, the one in heaven, and the currency here on Earth. I believe he says this in the next section.
Clough makes reference to another commandment when he writes:
Thou shalt not kill; but needst not strive
I believe that he is believing that without killing, one cannot strive. I believe that he is making reference here that killing is a natural part of making the function of human.
Finally Clough writes in his ironic way and says;
The sum of all is, thou shalt love,
If anybody, God above:
At any rate shall never labour
More than thyself to love thy neighbour.
This is what some people would say was a snide answer to an end. In the beginning I believed that Clough was trying to say that Christianity was ending and it was the people’s fault when they were not following The Ten Commandments. In this last part, if you love one another, you will prosper.
Clough was very ironic in his writing and this was a good example of his irony. If a person was only to read the first part of this poem, one might just believe that Christianity is dying, but Clough was only showing how during this era, people were getting away from traditional Christian beliefs.

Monday, July 7, 2008


JOHN KEATS 1795-1821

John Keats has been labeled as one of the leading poets of the English Romantic era. Keats did not live a very long life, but in his 26 years he wrote some of the leading poems during this time. After reading several of his odes, I seen where he used very elaborate words to describe the visual imagery that he wanted the reader to imagine.
In one of Keats writings, To Autumn, simple as it may be Keats used the elaborate words I spoke of to describe the coming of the season of Autumn. In this poem Keats wrote:
Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss'd cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells…
In this passage Keats uses elaborate words to paint an extraordinary picture of the end of summer. I think Keats uses the exaggeration that the fruit on the vines are over run, the tree bend because the apples are weighing them down, all of the fruit is fully ripened, and the gourds are ready to be picked, are all elaborate ways Keats use to let the readers know that autumn is coming.
In John Keats “Ode to a Nightingale” he opens this writging up with a personal heartache. He wrote this in the first two lines when he wrote:
MY heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains

My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk

I believe that Keats is writing about how he is feeling so down that he would want to drink hemlock to help him deal with his heartache. Keats never made reference to any flying until the 31st line of the ode when he writes:
Away! away! for I will fly to thee,

Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards

Keats again uses elaborate words to help paint the visual imagery of what he is trying to say.
Keats uses these words to help him set himself apart from other poets of this time. Keats dies at a very young age but in his 26 years of life, he made a mark on poetry during this era.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008



Anne Bronte was the youngest of the Bronte sisters. She was born on January 17, 1820, and died about 29 years later in May 1849. She wrote under the name of Acton Bell when she wrote her novels and poetry.
Anne wrote several poems and novel, which in the in my opinion did not refer to the gender of who the writer was. I read a couple of chapters of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and was not able to identify the gender of the writer. I felt that in the novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne was calling for a world where males and females were equal to each other. I believe that in Anne’s writing in this novel that a person must be moral and should embrace both the feminine and masculine characteristics of their being. The individuals, regardless of their gender, can achieve both.
Anne wrote the following passage in her Novel The Tenant of Wildfell Hall:
Rest without toil I would not ask:
I would not shun the hardest task;
Toil is my glory- Grief my gain,
If God’s approval they obtain.
Could I but hear my Saviour say,-
“I know thy patience and thy love;
How thou has held the narrow way,
For my laboured night and day,
And watched, and striven with them that strove:…
I believe that Anne’s several references to labor and duties were to be assumed and then performed without looking for your own pleasure. I think her references to God and Saviour, refers to the labor and duties being performed without pleasure, and God performed his labor and duties to the people of the world saving them in hopes of providing them an eternal home in his father house.
After reading Anne’s poem titled The Narrow Way when it was published after she died. Bronte wrote :
Believe not those who say
The upward path is smooth,
Lest thou shouldst stumble in the way
And faint before the truth…
I believed she is talking about a duty here also. I believe that she is trying to relay that it is your duty to listen to what people say about the preparation to make it to heaven and be prepared to stumble in your walk in life. It is your duty to stumble in your walk toward heaven and if you believe that the path is smooth, it would be your duty to dispute those who say “…the path is smooth…”

Sunday, June 29, 2008



Charlotte was the oldest of the three Bronte sisters. Growing up in Victorian England, Charlotte and her sisters were inspired by the Romantic authors of the particular era. Charlotte used the pen name of Currer Bell when she wrote. One of the more famous works of Charlotte Bronte was “Jane Eyre”. Along with Jane Eyre, Bronte wrote several poems.
I read Charlotte’s poem about her sister, Emma’s death. I believe she is using the four seasons as the different parts of Emma’s life. In the first four lines of the poem she writes:
"Sister, you've sat there all the day,

Come to the hearth awhile;

The wind so wildly sweeps away,

The clouds so darkly pile…”
In this passage I believe that Charlotte is referring to it being cold at night and her sister has sit looking outside, waiting and wondering when she could go outside and play. I believe this is when Emma was just a small child. Charlotte invited her sister to come and sit with her next to the fire because the wind is blowing the clouds to a thick, dark look.
In the last paragraph of this poem Charlotte writes:
“The snow will whiten earth again,

But Emma comes no more;

She left, 'mid winter's sleet and rain,

This world for Heaven's far shore.

On Beulah's hills she wanders now,

On Eden's tranquil plain…”
This is the clear statement of the end of Emma’s life. It appears from reading this passage that Emma died before the last snow of the season. When she writes that the snow will come again, but Emma [Emily] will not because she has left the world and goes to heaven where she is wondering threw Beulah and through Eden. Emily did die in December, many times before the first snow.
There is no doubt to me that Charlotte loves her sister and will miss her now since she has died. She talks about how her sister will be missed now she had died. She refers to how her sister filled her heart with happiness because they played together in the fields. Charlotte talks about being on and eternal journey to see her sister Emma again. Walk with her for eternity.
I personally would like to have a relationship with my siblings like Charlotte and her sisters have. I would like to think that my siblings would write such compassion about their love for me, as Charlotte wrote about her sister.

Thursday, June 26, 2008


EMILY BRONTE 1818-1848

Emily Bronte was one of the three Bronte sisters who wrote poetry and literature during the Victorian Era. Emily worte under the pen name of ELLIS BELL.

Emily’s wrote in a masculine muse. She wrote in a manner that many male poets wrote during this period of time. The personal tone used by Emily in My Comforter describes the thoughts she has hid or “concealed” in her soul in the 'light that lies hid from men' and its 'gentle ray' cannot be controlled by a male driven system or by a male God.
Emily’s poetry focused on the betrayals of body and mind. Emily sought to find answers to questions that the Victoria Era society did not allow her to ask. Emily’s religious symbolism as well as her spirituality shown a form of an unorthodox atheism, indentifying God as the universe. While Emily still continued to attend a church “whilst sitting as motionless as a statue”, she appeared to be there just to appease her family and the society she lived in.
Emily was many times referred to as the oddest of the Bronte sisters. She appeared to believe that God was just the creator of the universe. This was similar to what we today believe to be associated with Darwinism.
In Emily’s poem, When I Shall Sleep:
So said I, and still say the same;

Still, to my death, will say—

Three gods within this little frame

Are warring night and day:
I believe that she is saying that when the symbol “I” sleeps the same thing that fight when sleep is occurring, the “three Gods” are constantly fighting inside the mind. I believe that Emily is saying that the “three Gods” are the body, mind, and soul. She symbolizes these in may of her other writings she had written.
I also read “A Death-Scene, which was written by Emily. In this poem there is no doubt, at least in my mind, that the poem is about a person named “Edward”. In line 9 Emily writes this when she writes:
Edward, awake, awake--

The golden evening gleams

Warm and bright on Arden's lake--

Arouse thee from thy dreams!

Beside thee, on my knee,

My dearest friend, I prayThat thou, to cross the eternal sea,

Wouldst yet one hour delay
This is definitely about trying to wake Edward from his eternal sleep on Earth so that he can cross the lake. I believe that Emily is referring to a person on their knees trying to preach or pray that Edward will cross “the eternal sea” so that he can introduce himself to God, who is the universe.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

John William Colenso


I found John Colenso very intriguing in his writings and interpretation the first five books of the Bible. Colenso was a controversial Anglican Bishop in South Africa. He studied the Zulu language and translated some of the Bible and Anglican prayer books into the Zulu.
When Colenso argued the accuracy of The Pentauch, or the first five books of the Bible, he argued that sinners may not have eternal grace, he began questioning the religious teachings of the Bible. Colenso wrote “ The common Papist rests his faith on the supposed infallibility of his Church…” I believe that Colenso is referring to the Lord as the church in this writing as the minister who is teaching the words of the Bible to his followers. I think that Colenso is saying that in his translation of the books of the Bible that the Church is not teaching what the Bible actually is saying, they are teaching their interpretation of the Bible. In my opinion, Colenso is essentially contradicting himself in this writing.
Further into the writing Colenso believes that the Bible was written by several different authors. Colenso wrote “…if Moses wrote the story of the Exodus; because, we are told, he himself personally took a careful census of the people, the results to which, for each tribe, are set down exactly…” Knowing that Colenso translated the books into Zulu, it is easy to know he is talking about the people of Moses instead of the tribe of Moses. I believe that he is trying to say that Moses did not write Exodus because he did not write exactly how many people he carried through. I believe Colenso is referring to the rounded number of people that Moses took through instead of saying 145,412 or a number similar to this.
Later when Colenso was writing about the book of Deuteronomy, he writes”...and we took all his cities at that time ; there was not a city, which we took not from them, threescore cities, all the region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these cities were fenced with high walls, gates, and bars, beside unwalled towns, a great many. In addition, we destroyed them, as we did unto Sihon. King of Heshbon, utterly destroying the men, women, and children, of every city…” I read that Colenso is believing that the this land could not be taken because these cities were protected. I read that Colenso believes that Moses would have known this if he had written the book himself.
On page 269, Colenso continues to talk about how there are several different recollections of how “…we have an account of Abram's going into Egypt because of a famine,— of his persuading his wife Sarah to call herself his ' sister,' because he dreaded the consequences of her beauty, — of Pharaoh's taking her into his harem, being plagued and at length dismissing him honourably.” Another recollection Colenso refers to is “… Isaac and Eebekah. Isaac goes to Abimelech, king of Gerar, because of a famine :And the men of the place asked him of his wife, and he said, she is my sister; for he feared to say, she is my wife, lest the men of the place should kill me for Rebekah for she was fair to look upon.” When I read these passages, I seen where Colenso is talking about how in one book it was Abram going into Egypt because of the famine, and in another book it was Isaac and Eebekah going to Gerar because of a famine. I read that Colenso is trying to say that whoever wrote this would know what happened and would be able to accurately report on it. I believe that this is being lost in the translation between English to Zulu.

Sunday, June 22, 2008



Robert Browning was born May 7, 1812 in London England. He was a master at playwright and an English poet who was accomplished in dramatic verses. By the age of 12, Browning had written a book of poems, but was unable to get these poems published because of his age. Robert later destroyed the book because the poems were not published.
When he was 33 years of age, he met a female poet by the name of Elizabeth Barrett. He met and courted Elizabeth secretly because her father essentially forbade Elizabeth from seeing or befriending anyone other than her family. They were married approximately one year later after the two of them eloped.
I believe that Robert Browning wrote Meeting at Night to talk about his relationship and later secret marriage to Elizabeth Barrett. I believe that the poem is about his dating Elizabeth in secrecy from her father. When Browning wrote:
“The grey sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low;
And the startled little waves that leap…”
In this passage, I believe that he is referring to his elopement to Italy. An island that is surrounded oceans that have dark waters. Knowing a little about Italy, I feel that I was able to understand this. If I had knowledge of the geography of the towns that they two of them lived in or where they secretly dated, this may be an area like what is described here.
Later in the poem, Browning writes:
“Then a mile of warm sea-scented beach;
Three fields to cross till a farm appears;
A tap at the pane, the quick sharp scratch
And blue spurt of a lighted match,
And a voice less loud, thro' its joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each!”

In this section, Browning is talking about a dark, deep location where he went to met with Elizabeth after he came to the Barrett residence, tapped on a window until a match lit a light. They talked at a low whisper to avoid being heard, while yet being excited, and scared at the same time. Things were a lot better once they were together and they hearts beating together, “…two hearts beating each to each!”
When I read Parting at Morning, the sequel poem to this poem, I was able to see how Meeting At the Night was just the start of he and Elizabeth’s relationship. While it is believed that Meeting at the Night was written prior to the elopement and Parting at Morning was written after the marriage.