#AtoZChallenge ‘B’ #NationalPoetryMonth ‘She Walks in Beauty’ #NPM17

This year to celebrate National Poetry Month and to take part in the April A-Z Blogging Challenge, I’ll be posting two poems a day, one written by me and another poem written by one of my favourite poets. The title or first word of both poems will begin with the corresponding letter in the Blogging Challenge.


Today I offer you Treading on Stars by Luccia Gray, and She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron.

Today I’m Treading on Stars because dreams can also be beautiful…

****

Treading On Stars

Treading on stars

On her way to the moon,

Swishing her dress

As she glides through the sky.

Catching her hair

As it flies in the wind,

Wrapping her eyes like a scarf.

Still she flies through the heavens,

Bursting with hope,

On her way to the moon,

But the warmth of the sun,

Unyielding and cruel,

Dissolves her last breath,

As she carries her beauty

Back into the dawn.

 ****

She Walks in Beauty by Lord Byron (1815)

She walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies;

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meet in her aspect and her eyes:

Thus mellow’d to that tender light

Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair’d the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress,

Or softly lightens o’er her face;

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o’er that brow,

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent,

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent!

****

Lord Byron is considered one of the most representative poets of the romantic movement in England, and this short and intense poem, “She Walks in Beauty” is one of his most powerful works. The emphasis of the Romantic poets was on the writer’s spontaneous response to sensual stimulation. Byron isn’t interested in describing the lady’s clothes or her features, instead he tells us the feelings seeing her evoke, and allows readers to reach their own conclusion.

The lady is dark, like the night, she has dark hair, ‘raven tresses’, and she’s probably also wearing black or dark clothes, yet she also has sparkling jewellery and eyes, which light up her appearance.  She’s angelic, graceful and unreachable, as if she were a perfect goddess in heaven, looking down at mortals. The last three lines have always led me to imagine that perhaps he’s describing a woman who has died, ‘a mind at peace with all below’. The main idea is that feminine beauty is not based on external riches or physical appearance, but on symmetry, inner charm, peace and goodness.

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