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Meeting at Night - Robert Browning
Transcript of Meeting at Night - Robert Browning
His mother was an extremely devoted evangelical Christian and an accomplished pianist. His father was a bank clerk and a book collector. The majority of Browning’s education came from his father, who was a very well-read and educated man. Some people believe that Browning was able to proficiently read by the age of five. Browning was inspired by Shelley’s poetry to the extent that it altered his personal life. At the age of thirteen he declared himself a vegetarian and an atheist in emulation to Shelley. Pauline published in 1833 by an anonymous author was Browning’s first published work. In 1846 Browning married Elizabeth Barrett against her fathers wishes. Browning died on December 12th, 1889, the same day that his final volume of verse, Asolando was published. Meeting at Night The gray sea and the long black land;
And the yellow half-moon large and low:
And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep,
As I gain the cove with pushing prow,
And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.
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, through joys and fears,
Than the two hearts beating each to each! by Robert Browning S
Tone Devices Imagery Browning employs the use of colors to create a mental picture of what is occurring in the poem.
“The gray sea and the long black land”(1)
The sea is described as being gray and the land as black to symbolize that it is night time. The waves are described to leap “In fiery ringlets.”(4) The waves are used to represent the lover that the speaker is going to go see. The word “fiery” has passionate connotations which is used to describe the relationship between the speaker and his lover. Personification “And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep”(3-4)
The speaker is using personification by giving the waves the ability to “leap” and “sleep”. Metaphor “And the startled little waves that leap
In fiery ringlets from their sleep”(3-4)
The speaker is also using a metaphor in these lines by comparing the waves to something that is able to sleep and be fiery. Symbolism “And blue spurt of a lighted match”
The lighting of a match is used to symbolize the lighting of the passion between the speaker and his lover. Speaker - A man traveling to an encounter with his lover. Occasion - The poem is taking place during the night. The speaker originally travels across a portion of the ocean, he then reaches a cove and crosses the beach and three fields. He finally encounters his lover in a farm house. Purpose - Love spreads throughout every moment of life that a person is experiencing. Subject - The encounter of two lovers. Audience - People that are experiencing love. Tone - The tone of this poem is passionate, because of the language used. The waves represent the lover, who is described ad being “fiery” which brings ideas of passionate into the mind of the reader. When the lovers are encountered a “blue spurt of a lighting match” is lit, the lighting of the match is used to symbolize the lighting of the lovers passion. Analysis The poem is structured into two stanzas containing a total of twelve sentences. The poem is taking place during the night, which adds an element of secrecy to the overall tone of the poem. The speaker traveled across the sea, the beach and three fields to encounter his lover. The speaker had to travel through the sea to find his lover, elements of the sea can be found throughout the entire poem. In the waves the speaker was reminded him of his lover and the exuberant amount of love he felt for her made him see everything as beautiful. Works Cited "Robert Browning." - Poets.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/182>. "Meeting at Night." - Poets.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19441>. "Meeting at Night Symbolism, Imagery & Wordplay." Shmoop. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <http://www.shmoop.com/meeting-at-night/symbolism-imagery.html>.