Week 23–Victorian Poetry The Brownings

“Boulevard Montmartre La Nuit,” by Camille Pissarro

Monday–Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Tuesday–Robert Browning

Begin With A Journal

Jealousy–“Jealousy appears to be inspired by love, but it often springs from other emotions. What are some hidden causes of jealousy?” Describe a time when you felt jealous. Have you ever felt jealous because someone you had a crush on had feelings for someone else? How did you deal with your feelings?

Nice Beard ❤

Write This Definition In Your Notes:

Dramatic Monologue- “My Last Duchess” is one of Browning’s earliest and most popular dramatic monologues, poems in which a speaker, who is not the poet, addresses a listener who does not speak. Instead of commenting directly on the speaker, Browning provides us with clues and expects us to make inferences. We are required to THINK about the character of the the speaker, to reconstruct the situation in which he or she speaks, and to guess at the speaker’s motives.

  • Read this biography of Robert Browning  and  “My Last Duchess”
  • Listen to this symphonic poem by Czech composer Bedrich Smetana. This is seriously one of my favorite symphonies, because it isn’t just about the music. During this time period, music was connected to a story or images. You remember this with the Erlkonig. Smetana’s “Moldeau” is a beautiful scene from a river boat cruise. The sounds of the music reflect the images and scenes in the poem. Listeners who would be familiar with the concept would be able to close their eyes and picture the scenes in their head as the song progresses. I was so happy when Dustin took me to see this symphony at the LA Philharmonic a few years ago. It was overwhelming. Have you ever been to the symphony? To be surrounded by sound and perfection and beauty . . . you must go!!! Here is a description of the scenes for “The Moldau.”

“The movement starts with light, rippling figures that represent the emergence of the Moldau River as two mountain springs, one warm and one cold. Water from the springs then combines to become a mighty river, symbolized by a thickly orchestrated, stately theme that recurs periodically throughout the remainder of the work.

Farther downstream, the river passes jubilant hunters, portrayed by a horn melody, and then passes a village wedding, signaled by a passage in polka rhythm.

The river then enters a gorge where, according to legend, water nymphs—suggested by serene and mysterious melodies—come out to bathe in the moonlight.

With the morning light, the main river theme returns, though it soon breaks into tumultuous dissonance as the river enters the St. John’s Rapids.

Beyond the white water, the river reaches Prague, where to grand arpeggios of a regal hymn, it flows past the castle Vyšehrad, once the seat of power for Bohemian kings.

After fading to a trickle, the piece—and the journey—comes to an unambiguous close with a loud two-chord cadence.” (Britannica.com)

This song is very patriotic, as it demonstrates Smetana’s love for his country. Now go ahead and listen to it and see if you can tell the match each scene to the transitions of the symphony. Leave a comment below, letting me know what you think!


“Impression, Sunrise” Claude Monet

Wednesday–Robert Browning and Impressionist Art

  • Re-read “Porphyria’s Lover”
  • Copy these Bible verses into your homework questions–Psalm 47:6-8, Psalm 10:10-12, Isaiah 29:15, and Ezekiel 9:9. How do these verses answer the last line of the poem?
  • Watch this video:

  • Impressionist Art–One of the most important types of paintings during the Victorian Period is Impressionism. Have you ever seen one of these paintings in the museum? Sometimes these paintings look so soft and beautiful from far away, and then you get up real close and all you see is a random pattern of colored dots. They picture only makes sense when you step back and get perspective. If you look too closely, things get distorted. I posted a bunch of famous paintings all over this page. Make sure you take the time to really LOOK at them. Leave a comment letting me know which one is your favorite and why.
  • Listen–Yesterday we listened to “The Moldau” by Bedrich Smetana. Today I want you to listen to “Claire De Lune” by Claude Debussy. You have heard this song before in movies and stuff. But maybe you didn’t know it was came from the Victorian age, and it was based on a French poem by the same name. Here is the poem:
French English translation
Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune
Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau,
Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.
Your soul is a chosen landscape
Where charming masqueraders and bergamaskers go
Playing the lute and dancing and almost
Sad beneath their fanciful disguises.All sing in a minor key
Of victorious love and the opportune life,
They do not seem to believe in their happiness
And their song mingles with the moonlight,With the still moonlight, sad and beautiful,
That sets the birds dreaming in the trees
And the fountains sobbing in ecstasy,
The tall slender fountains among marble statues.

I want you to get comfortable to listen to this song.

And be patient with it, let it develop on it’s own for you.

Thursday–Robert Browning

  • Answer the questions after the poems  🙂
  • Read–“Robert Browning at Downton Abbey?”
  • Read–This Is The Future Husband Checklist That Every Young Girl Should Read“–This is for girls and boys. Boys, BE THIS for somebody, be a hero for your future wife and family. Girls, you deserve full love and respect and care and protection and acts of kindness. Let us value these things, because “hotness” goes away. All the old guys you see waiting at the pharmacy, used to be hot veterans. Look for who someone really is on the inside. Boys and girls, fall in love with a person’s character and passion for Christ (and someone you would like to kiss on the cheek). Agape>Eros.
  • In the comments below tell me how you would feel falling in love with a poet who could write poems like “My Last Duchess” and “Porphyria’s Lover.” Would you understand that they are just fun explorations of insane individuals? Or, somewhere in the back of your head would you wonder, is this person safe? LOL. Also, let me know which poem you liked the best this week.
  • Listen–Here is a very old, very precious recording of Robert Browning reading his poetry on the newest technology of the time, Edison’s cylinder. This is one of the most important historical recordings of all time.

“Dance at La Moulin de la Galette,” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
“Dancer With a Bouquet of Flowers” Edgar Degas ❤
“A Bar at the Folies-Bergere” Edouard Manet
“Little Dancer of Fourteen Years” by Edgar Degas  (at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena <3)

35 thoughts on “Week 23–Victorian Poetry The Brownings

  1. In this symphonic performance, you can hear the transitions because, the tempo of then music rises slowly, and the instruments start to go faster, and louder.

  2. You can feel the similarities because they beat starts to rise then you can hear the happiness in the song and the rush in it as well. 🙂

  3. My favorite painting was “Boulevard Montmartre La Nuit,” by Camille Pissarro because it’s very interesting to look at but yet it’s fascinating and unique.

  4. I enjoyed “The Moldau.” I got to sit and listen with my eyes closed and it was a surprise to hear the trumpets come in and imagining the hunters.

    Also, my favorite painting is “Boulevard Montmartre La Nuit,” by Camille Pissarro.

  5. The painting that wowed me the most was “A Bar at the Folies-Bergere” Edouard Manet because you can see all the hundreds of dots of people but she’s the only one that is complete.

  6. Wow that was soooo good the music took me back to a time when I was younger and happy. I really liked the change in tempo it was like watching a cinematic movie with my ears, and all while eating my veggie chips lol🙌

  7. -I definitely enjoyed the rising and lowering actions of the certain type of music I forgot the name of, it feels like you’re in the moment.

    -I liked Dance at La Moulin de la Galette because there’s just more activity in there, more people. You can’t paint Disneyland with people with faces like that without a ton of effort.

    -I would question the possibilities, in short. They may be crazy or they may be joking around, who knows?

  8. If I personally fell in love with a poet who could write “My Last Duchess” ext. I’d question myself if honestly it is worth the risk, cause gguuurrrl ain’t nobody strangling me with my hair 🙂

  9. I honestly do not know how I would feel falling in love with someone who could write poems like that, I would feel excited but yet scared at the same time because of their wonderful gift but yet the way they choose to write lol. I think I would be fine and feel safe because I mean it is just a poem after all.

  10. If I fell in love with someone that wrote poems like that, I would be a little afraid because if she has thoughts like that, then would she do that type of stuff to me. Would she murder me in my sleep, then stuff me so I could be her little trophy or something. Honestly though, I would not marry someone that wrote literature like that.

  11. This kind of stuff makes me so excited!! I think I would fall in love with someone who wrote like that. I’d start to wonder what would go on in their head for them to think of such things, and it would only intrigue me more, and get me to find out more about them. This is something they write, its their art, I would like them to spill it all out to me. Where do their ideas come from, how did it happened, why do they like it, would they do it? I find this stuff so interesting lol (I may or may not be the person that would write stuff like this haha). Someone with a mind like that would keep me on my toes. I would fall in love with someone like that.

  12. Well if I fell in love with a poetowith that particular writing style lol I would of course at first be cautious and worried but if it is really sincire True Love than that stuff wouldn’t matter you wouldn’t have to be scared you would take a bullet for them just to wipe a frown off their face you would sacrifice anything just to see them smile again. Soo yes be cautious of course but love is just something that you can’t explain

  13. And if I did meet an untimely demise persay lol at least it would have been with the one I fell in love with and I can’t really ask for any more than that

  14. I liked the dancer with the bouqut of flowers
    Well in the background I see there’s some unhappy looking girls also dancing I don’t know but I think it’s because their dancing too seriously I like how see separated herself from them and just took up a bouquet of flowers and just dancing
    I think it’s also a life medophor that don’t worry about life all the struggles because God will take care of you be like the dancer take up a bouquet of flowers and just dance alittle enjoy life!!!!!
    And wow my answers are long lol

  15. I wouldn’t mind falling in love with someone who could write poems like Porphyria’s Lover and My Last Duchess. Also my favorite poem was Porphyria’s Lover.

  16. The symphonic poem by Czech was nice to listen to. It was hard to for me to figure out where the transitions began, because the song was long, but in some areas I could certainly tell where the river passes the jubilant hunters.

  17. My favorite painting is “Impression, Sunrise” by Claude Monet. The reason why is because it looks so peaceful and calm in the lower half of the painting, but around the upper half are ghost ships, and it’s very suddle and creepy. I personally like it because of the colors too.

  18. The transitions in the music are very apparent to me. The crescendo and decrescendo volume and tempo throughout the symphony symbolize the different scenes. Just closing my eyes and listening to the symphony was a beautiful experience. You can feel the emotion behind the music being played.

  19. Im not sure what was meant by “fall in love” with a poet that could write grim poems… but if I was to “fall in love” with a poet, (whatever that means…), I feel like their writings would be insight into their mind and heart. So the poet that writes poems like “Porphyria’s Lover”, would be one that should be approached with caution and reservation.

  20. I think it would be awesome to fall in love with a poet that could write like that. that’s an insane talent. People who know how to write express their feelings the most precisely. The better you know how someone feels about something, the closer you are to them. My favorite poem is Porphyria’s Lover. I just like the twists and turns, and the clues it gives before Porphyria even enters the house. It’s also like you have to be a detective to figure how this poem works.

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