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Selected Poems : Penguin Classics - Robert Browning

Selected Poems

Penguin Classics

Paperback Published: 21st September 2000
ISBN: 9780140437263
Number Of Pages: 352
For Ages: 18+ years old

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Henry James called Robert Browning (1812-89) 'a tremendous and incomparable modern', and the sheer immediacy and colloquial energy of his poetry ensure its enduring appeal. Browning paints landscapes both suburban and sublime, combines lyric and demotic language and introduces the everyday events of the streets and market place into the rarefied world of Victorian poetry. This selection includes examples from the early Dramatic Lyrics (1842) and Dramatic Romances and Lyrics (1845), from the collections that count as Browning's masterpieces, Men and Women (1855) and Dramatis Personae (1864), and from the fine, though less familiar, works of his later years. Together they reveal Browning as one of the most intense and constantly surprising poets.

About The Author

Robert Browning was born in Camberwell, in south-east London, in 1812. The major influences on his early development came from his father's large and eccentric library, his mother's deep Nonconformist piety, and his adolescent encounter with Romantic poetry (especially Shelley). After education at local schools and at home, he enrolled at the newly founded University of London in 1828, but left the following year. He travelled widely on the Continent in the 1830s and 1840s. He published Pauline anonymously and without success in 1833; Paracelsus (1835) made him known to London literary society. However, Sordello (1840), derided for its obscurity, blighted his career for over twenty years. He published a series of plays and collections of shorter poems, Bells and Pomegranates (1841-6). In January 1845 he began corresponding with Elizabeth Barrett; he met her in May 1845, and they were married in September 1846 after a clandestine courtship (because of Mr Barrett's implacable opposition to the idea of any of his children marrying).

The Brownings lived in Italy until Elizabeth Barrett Browning's death in 1861. Browning published Men and Women (1855), which contains some of his finest poems, but still did not restore his reputation (or his sales). After his wife's death, Browning returned to England with their only son, and settled in London. He published Dramatis Personae (1864), a collection which began to repair his critical fortunes; this process was accomplished by the appearance of The Ring and the Book (1868-9). Among the works of his later years, Fifine at the Fair (1872), Aristophanes' Apology (1875), La Saisiaz (1878), Dramatic Idyls (1879), Parleyings with Certain People of Importance in Their Day (1887) and Asolando (1889) are outstanding. Browning died in Venice on 12 December 1889, and was buried in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.

Introductionp. 9
Note on the Textp. 16
Porphyria's Loverp. 17
Johannes Agricola in Meditationp. 19
Song from Pippa Passes ('The year's at the spring')p. 21
Scene from Pippa Passes ('There goes a swallow to Venice ...')p. 22
My Last Duchessp. 25
Soliloquy of the Spanish Cloisterp. 27
The Pied Piper of Hamelin; A Child's Storyp. 30
'How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix'p. 39
The Lost Leaderp. 42
Meeting at Nightp. 43
Parting at Morningp. 43
Home-Thoughts, from Abroadp. 44
The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed's Churchp. 45
Love Among the Ruinsp. 49
A Lovers' Quarrelp. 52
Up at a Villa - Down in the Cityp. 58
Fra Lippo Lippip. 62
A Toccata of Galuppi'sp. 73
An Epistle Containing the Strange Medical Experience of Karshish, the Arab Physicianp. 76
Mesmerismp. 85
A Serenade at the Villap. 90
'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came'p. 93
The Statue and the Bustp. 100
How It Strikes a Contemporaryp. 108
The Patriotp. 112
Memorabiliap. 114
Andrea del Sartop. 115
In a Yearp. 123
Cleonp. 126
Two in the Campagnap. 136
A Grammarian's Funeralp. 139
James Lee's Wifep. 144
Gold Hair: A Story of Pernicp. 157
Dis Aliter Visum; or, Le Byron de Nos Joursp. 163
A Death in the Desertp. 169
Caliban upon Setebos; or, Natural Theology in the Islandp. 188
Confessionsp. 197
Youth and Artp. 199
A Likenessp. 202
Mr. Sludge, 'The Medium'p. 204
Apparent Failurep. 247
Epilogue (to Dramatis Personae)p. 250
Housep. 254
Saint Martin's Summerp. 256
Ned Brattsp. 260
Clivep. 271
[Wanting is - what?]p. 283
Donaldp. 284
Never the Time and the Placep. 292
The Namesp. 293
Nowp. 294
Beatrice Signorinip. 295
Spring Songp. 306
Notesp. 307
Index of Titlesp. 337
Index of First Linesp. 339
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780140437263
ISBN-10: 0140437266
Series: Penguin Classics
Audience: General
For Ages: 18+ years old
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 21st September 2000
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.9  x 2.0
Weight (kg): 0.24
Edition Number: 1