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Youth and Art Analysis

Author: Poetry of Robert Browning Type: Poetry Views: 875

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It once might have been, once only:

We lodged in a street together,

You, a sparrow on the housetop lonely,

I, a lone she-bird of his feather.

Your trade was with sticks and clay,

You thumbed, thrust, patted and polished,

Then laughed "They will see some day

Smith made, and Gibson demolished."

My business was song, song, song;

I chirped, cheeped, trilled and twittered,

"Kate Brown's on the boards ere long,

And Grisi's existence embittered!"

I earned no more by a warble

Than you by a sketch in plaster;

You wanted a piece of marble,

I needed a music-master.

We studied hard in our styles,

Chipped each at a crust like Hindoos,

For air looked out on the tiles,

For fun watched each other's windows.

You lounged, like a boy of the South,

Cap and blouse--nay, a bit of beard too;

Or you got it, rubbing your mouth

With fingers the clay adhered to.

And I--soon managed to find

Weak points in the flower-fence facing,

Was forced to put up a blind

And be safe in my corset-lacing.

No harm! It was not my fault

If you never turned your eye's tail up

As I shook upon E in alt,

Or ran the chromatic scale up:

For spring bade the sparrows pair,

And the boys and girls gave guesses,

And stalls in our street looked rare

With bulrush and watercresses.

Why did not you pinch a flower

In a pellet of clay and fling it?

Why did not I put a power

Of thanks in a look, or sing it?

I did look, sharp as a lynx,

(And yet the memory rankles,)

When models arrived, some minx

Tripped up-stairs, she and her ankles.

But I think I gave you as good!

"That foreign fellow,--who can know

How she pays, in a playful mood,

For his tuning her that piano?"

Could you say so, and never say

"Suppose we join hands and fortunes,

And I fetch her from over the way,

Her, piano, and long tunes and short tunes?"

No, no: you would not be rash,

Nor I rasher and something over:

You've to settle yet Gibson's hash,

And Grisi yet lives in clover.

But you meet the Prince at the Board,

I'm queen myself at bals-paré,

I've married a rich old lord,

And you're dubbed knight and an R.A.

Each life unfulfilled, you see;

It hangs still, patchy and scrappy:

We have not sighed deep, laughed free,

Starved, feasted, despaired,--been happy.

And nobody calls you a dunce,

And people suppose me clever:

This could but have happened once,

And we missed it, lost it for ever.


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

.: Youth and Art :.

Fri, 29 Jul 2005 14:42:16 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Jules St.John" <dekalbpoet@yahoo.com> Add to Address Book
Subject: Re: please help me about youth and art by robert browning
To: "Lily Hua" <lilabee_choc@yahoo.com>

hi Lily,

The poem is a love poem,
about a poverty stricken young artsy woman
who falls in love with a poverty stricken young artsy man.

they are so involved in their art, and they are
attracted to each other, and in their own weird way,
they are each other's soul mates,

but it never meets it's fullness:

he goes off and becomes some Knight and she goes off and marries
a rich old Lord.

tis a tragedy of Love, Youth and Art.

tis the Perfect Love, simply because they
never hook up, or at least not for long,
and so: never grow bored with each other or fight.

the sad tragic horror of it: that neither one's Life is truly Fulfilled,
simply because they didn't dare to take a chance and actually
have a go at it and make it work.

they see each other years later, when they are old, and the sad
bitter-sweet bond it is there...but they've lost that Chance forever,
simply because neither one of them ever tried.

It is the saddest poem,
and the sweetest.

It is Truer than Life.
Youth and Art.

Stupidity and Genius.

They screwed up. They blew it.
Now they're just like Everybody Else, instead of
taking the Leap and Daring to Risk it and be Spectacular
and actually acquire and keep The Perfect Love,
a truly GOOD and LOVING Relationship, of mutual slathering and mutual Love.

Have you ever known anyone like this?
Could you see yourself as that?

Dare to Love Your Equal.
He won't reciprocate, of course, because he's probably young and stupid,
but years later, when he's married to some fat bossy cow and you're married
to an old man who cares for you in a rather shallow way,
and you and your Old Flame -- your Perfect Soul Mate ---
run into each other and your eyes meet...ah well,
then you'll remember the Poem, won't you?

~ Poet

Lily Hua <lilabee_choc@yahoo.com> wrote:
hello, my name is Lily and i am having trouble
interpreting the poem Youth and Art by Robert
Browning. If you could help me, i would be very
grateful. I looked on a website
(www.eliteskills.com/c/1673) and it had appeared with
a request by yourself.
I will understand if you do not help me.

Thank you for reading this email.

Your Sincerely


| Posted on 2005-07-29 | by Approved Guest

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