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Robert Browning was a city poet in the mid to late 19th century. He was born in Camberwell May 7, 1812, which is now a part of London. He spent two years at the University of London and even with the diversity of his education decided to be a poet early on, following Keats example and especially Shelley. His contemporaries were Leigh Hunt,Talfourd, Landor, Macready and Tennyson. From 1841 to 1846, he published his series of eight "Bells and Pomegranates", a melange of combined sensory discourse. In 1846 he married Elizabeth Barrett and they moved to Florence, Italy and lived quite happily for fifteen years ending with Elizabeth’s death.
Most of Robert’s popular poems were produced while in Italy. Upon the death of his wife he returned to England and continued in publishing success. His greatest literary achievement was The Ring and the Book, published in 1868.
He differed greatly from Tennyson in vogue and had the difficult tag to contend with, however, his style endures, even to this day, and his dramatic lyrics brushed aside the poet and reproduced an intricate, psychological presentation without analysis. His style was even musical, often containing strange allusions and obscure references. Browning’s philosophy came through as a clarion call against sluggishness, indifference and laziness.
Oh, to be in England now that April’s there,
And whoever wakes in England sees, some morning, unaware,
That the lowest boughs and the brush-wood sheaf round the elm-tree bole are in tiny leaf,
While the chaffinch sings on the orchard bough in England- now!
And after April, when May follows, and the whitethroat builds, and all the swallows!
Hark, where my blossomed pear-tree in the hedge leans to the field and scatters on the clover
Blossoms and dewdrops- at the bent spray’s edge- that’s the wise thrush; he sings each song twice over,
Lest you should think he never could recapture the first fine careless rapture!
And though the field look rough with hoary dew, all will be gay when noontide wakes anew
The buttercups, the little children’s dower- far brighter than this gaudy melonflower!
Respectfully submitted by
The Castle Lady
At your service