La Belle Dame Sans Merci by John KeatsLa Belle Dame sans Merci (French: The Beautiful Lady Without Mercy) is a ballad written by the English poet John Keats. It exists in two versions, with minor differences between them. The original was written by Keats in 1819. He used the title of a 15th century poem by Alain Chartier, though the plots of the two poems are different.
The poem is considered an English classic, stereotypical to other of Keats works. It avoids simplicity of interpretation despite simplicity of structure. At only a short twelve stanzas, of only four lines each, with a simple ABCB rhyme scheme, the poem is nonetheless full of enigmas, and has been the subject of numerous interpretations.
La Belle Dame Sans Merci - Loreena McKennitt - (Lyrics)
Analysis of Poem "La Belle Dame Sans Merci" by John Keats
John Keats was an English poet writing in the early 19th century, towards the end of what became known as the " Romantic period. The Romantics were reacting to an 18th century obsession with order, rationality, and scientific precision. Romantic writers felt that these Enlightenment-era thinkers missed the point about what it meant to be human. After all, they argued, you can't write an equation to define human nature. So the Romantic movement was partly a backlash against the rationalism of the 18th century Enlightenment. When critics talk about the Romantic poets, they usually focus on the "big six": William Blake , William Wordsworth , and Samuel Taylor Coleridge were the oldest of the six, and the younger generation included Percy Bysshe Shelley , Lord Byron , and our man, John Keats. Keats was the youngest of the six, but he was, alas, the first to die.
Ballads generally use a bouncy rhythm and rhyme scheme to tell a story. Think about an event that has happened to you recently and try to tell it in ballad form. The poem is a narrative of an encounter that entails both pleasure and pain. Think of a person you have met in your life who has brought you both joy and unhappiness. What do you notice about them? Why does Keats use so many? What effects do they create?
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Andrew has a keen interest in all aspects of poetry and writes extensively on the subject. His poems are published online and in print. La Belle Dame sans Merci is in the form of a folk ballad and relates the story of a man a knight and a beautiful woman a faery's child , in what is a curious allegorical romance.
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The author died in , so this work is in the public domain in its country of origin and other countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 80 years or fewer. This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published or registered with the U., Considered an English classic, the poem is an example of Keats' poetic preoccupation with love and death. The fairy inspired several artists to paint images that became early examples of 19th-century femme fatale iconography.