Alfred de Vigny
Alfred Victor, Comte de Vigny was a French poet and early leader of French Romanticism. He produced novels and translations of Shakespeare. Vigny was born in Loches into an aristocratic family, his father was a 60-year-old veteran of the Seven Years' War. His maternal grandfather, the Marquis de Baraudin, had served as commodore in the royal navy. Vigny grew up in Paris, took preparatory studies for the École Polytechnique at the Lycée Bonaparte, obtaining a good knowledge of French history and the Bible before developing an "inordinate love for the glory of bearing arms"; as was the case for every noble family, the French Revolution diminished the family's circumstances considerably. After Napoléon's defeat at Waterloo, a Bourbon, Louis XVIII, the brother of Louis XVI, was restored to power, in 1814 Vigny enrolled in one of the privileged aristocratic companies of the Maison du Roi as a second lieutenant. Though he was promoted to first lieutenant in 1822 and to captain the following year, the military profession in time of peace bored him.
After taking several leaves of absence he abandoned military life in 1827, having published his first poem Le Bal in 1820 and an ambitious narrative poem Éloa in 1824 on the popular romantic theme of the redemption of Satan. Prolonging successive leaves from the army, he settled in Paris with his young English bride Lydia Bunbury, whom he married in Pau in 1825, he collected his recent works in January 1826 in modernes. Three months he published the first important historical novel in French, Cinq-Mars, based on the life of Louis XIII's favorite Henri Coiffier de Ruzé, Marquis of Cinq-Mars, who conspired against the Cardinal de Richelieu. With the success of these two volumes, Vigny seemed to be the rising star of the Romantic movement, though one of Vigny's best friends, Victor Hugo, soon usurped that role. Vigny wrote of Hugo: "The Victor I loved is no more... now he likes to make saucy remarks and is turning into a liberal, which does not suit him." Unlike Hugo and Alphonse de Lamartine, who moved to the center and to the left during the 1830s, Vigny remained pliantly centrist in his politics: he accepted the July monarchy, at first welcomed and rejected the Second French Republic, supported Napoleon III.
Vigny denounced members of his inner circle whom he suspected of republican sympathies to the imperial police. The visit of an English theater troupe to Paris in 1827 revived French interest in Shakespeare. Vigny worked with Emile Deschamps on a translation of Juliet. In 1831 he presented his first original play, La Maréchale d'Ancre, a historical drama recounting the events leading up to the reign of King Louis XIII. Attending the theater, he met the great actress Marie Dorval, became her jealous lover until 1838. In 1835 Vigny produced a drama titled Chatterton, based on the life of Thomas Chatterton, with Marie Dorval starring as Kitty Bell. Chatterton is considered to be one of the best of the French romantic dramas and is still performed regularly; the story of Chatterton had inspired one of the three episodes of Vigny's philosophical novel Stello, in which he examined the relationship of poetry to society and concluded that the poet, doomed to be regarded with suspicion in every social order, must remain somewhat aloof and apart from the social order.
Servitude et grandeur militaires was a similar tripartite meditation on the condition of the soldier. Although Vigny gained success as a writer, his personal life was not happy, his marriage was a disappointment. He grew embittered. After the death of his mother in 1838 he inherited the property of Maine-Giraud, near Angoulême, where it was said that he had withdrawn to his'ivory tower'. There Vigny wrote some of his most famous poems, including La Mort du La Maison du berger. Proust regarded. In 1845, after several unsuccessful attempts to be elected, Vigny became a member of the Académie française. In years, Vigny ceased to publish, he continued to write and his Journal is considered by modern scholars to be a great work in its own right, though it awaits a definitive scholarly edition. Vigny considered himself a thinker as well as a literary author, his own philosophy of life was pessimistic and stoical, but celebrated human fraternity, the growth of knowledge, mutual assistance as high values.
He was the first in literary history to use the word spleen in the sense of woe, gall, descriptive of the condition of the soul of modern man. In his years he spent much time preparing the posthumous collection of poems now known as Les Destinées, for which his intended title was Poèmes philosophiques, it concludes with Vigny's final message to L'Esprit pur. Vigny developed, he endured its torments with exemplary stoicism for several years: A voir ce que l'on fut sur terre et ce qu'on laisse/Seul le silence est grand.
1824 in poetry
Nationality words link to articles with information on the nation's poetry or literature. March – Samuel Taylor Coleridge elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in Britain. February 15 – Lord Byron falls ill at Missolonghi while taking part in the Greek War of Independence, dying of fever on April 19. May 7 – Première of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 at the Theater am Kärntnertor in Vienna, incorporating a setting of Schiller's "Ode to Joy". May 17 – The publisher John Murray, together with five of Lord Byron's friends and executors, decides to destroy the manuscript of Byron's memoirs because he considers the scandalous details would damage Byron's reputation. Opposed only by Thomas Moore, the two volumes of memoirs are dismembered and burnt in the fireplace at the John Murray's office, 50 Albemarle Street in London; the United States Literary Gazette, a semi-monthly, begins publication. It publishes poetry among many others. Edwin Atherstone, A Midsummer Day's Dream Bernard Barton, Revelations of the Dead-Alive Robert Bloomfield, The Remains of Robert Bloomfield Lord Byron, Don Juan, Cantos XV-XVI, published anonymously Thomas Campbell: Miscellaneous Poems Theodric, Other Poems Catherine Grace Godwin, The Night Before the Bridal.
E. L.", The Improvisatrice, Other Poems Amelia Opie, The Negro Boy's Tale Percy Bysshe Shelley, Posthumous Poems of Percy Bysshe Shelley published in June by Mary Shelley.
Poetry is a form of literature that uses aesthetic and rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, metre—to evoke meanings in addition to, or in place of, the prosaic ostensible meaning. Poetry has a long history, dating back to prehistorical times with the creation of hunting poetry in Africa, panegyric and elegiac court poetry was developed extensively throughout the history of the empires of the Nile and Volta river valleys; some of the earliest written poetry in Africa can be found among the Pyramid Texts written during the 25th century BCE, while the Epic of Sundiata is one of the most well-known examples of griot court poetry. The earliest Western Asian epic poetry, the Epic of Gilgamesh, was written in Sumerian. Early poems in the Eurasian continent evolved from folk songs such as the Chinese Shijing, or from a need to retell oral epics, as with the Sanskrit Vedas, Zoroastrian Gathas, the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Ancient Greek attempts to define poetry, such as Aristotle's Poetics, focused on the uses of speech in rhetoric, drama and comedy.
Attempts concentrated on features such as repetition, verse form and rhyme, emphasized the aesthetics which distinguish poetry from more objectively informative, prosaic forms of writing. Poetry uses forms and conventions to suggest differential interpretation to words, or to evoke emotive responses. Devices such as assonance, alliteration and rhythm are sometimes used to achieve musical or incantatory effects; the use of ambiguity, symbolism and other stylistic elements of poetic diction leaves a poem open to multiple interpretations. Figures of speech such as metaphor and metonymy create a resonance between otherwise disparate images—a layering of meanings, forming connections not perceived. Kindred forms of resonance may exist, between individual verses, in their patterns of rhyme or rhythm; some poetry types are specific to particular cultures and genres and respond to characteristics of the language in which the poet writes. Readers accustomed to identifying poetry with Dante, Goethe and Rumi may think of it as written in lines based on rhyme and regular meter.
Much modern poetry reflects a critique of poetic tradition, playing with and testing, among other things, the principle of euphony itself, sometimes altogether forgoing rhyme or set rhythm. In today's globalized world, poets adapt forms and techniques from diverse cultures and languages; some scholars believe. Others, suggest that poetry did not predate writing; the oldest surviving epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, comes from the 3rd millennium BCE in Sumer, was written in cuneiform script on clay tablets and on papyrus. A tablet dating to c. 2000 BCE describes an annual rite in which the king symbolically married and mated with the goddess Inanna to ensure fertility and prosperity. An example of Egyptian epic poetry is The Story of Sinuhe. Other ancient epic poetry includes the Iliad and the Odyssey. Epic poetry, including the Odyssey, the Gathas, the Indian Vedas, appears to have been composed in poetic form as an aid to memorization and oral transmission, in prehistoric and ancient societies.
Other forms of poetry developed directly from folk songs. The earliest entries in the oldest extant collection of Chinese poetry, the Shijing, were lyrics; the efforts of ancient thinkers to determine what makes poetry distinctive as a form, what distinguishes good poetry from bad, resulted in "poetics"—the study of the aesthetics of poetry. Some ancient societies, such as China's through her Shijing, developed canons of poetic works that had ritual as well as aesthetic importance. More thinkers have struggled to find a definition that could encompass formal differences as great as those between Chaucer's Canterbury Tales and Matsuo Bashō's Oku no Hosomichi, as well as differences in content spanning Tanakh religious poetry, love poetry, rap. Classical thinkers employed classification as a way to assess the quality of poetry. Notably, the existing fragments of Aristotle's Poetics describe three genres of poetry—the epic, the comic, the tragic—and develop rules to distinguish the highest-quality poetry in each genre, based on the underlying purposes of the genre.
Aestheticians identified three major genres: epic poetry, lyric poetry, dramatic poetry, treating comedy and tragedy as subgenres of dramatic poetry. Aristotle's work was influential throughout the Middle East during the Islamic Golden Age, as well as in Europe during the Renaissance. Poets and aestheticians distinguished poetry from, defined it in opposition to prose, understood as writing with a proclivity to logical explication and a linear narrative structure; this does not imply that poetry is illogical or lacks narration, but rather that poetry is an attempt to render the beautiful or sublime without the burden of engaging the logical or narrative thought process. English Romantic poet John Keats termed this escape from logic "Negative Capability"; this "romantic" approach views form as a key element of successful poetry because form is abstract and distinct from the underlying notional logic. This approach remained influential into t