Lyrics and Love Poems

Shahidha Bari

in The Oxford Handbook of Percy Bysshe Shelley

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199558360
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

Lyrics and Love Poems

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  • Literary Studies (19th Century)
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Shelley wrote several lyric and love poems dedicated to Sophia Stacey, Jane Williams, and Mary Shelley, which reflect an image of him as an ardent and idealistic lover. They also attest to the importance of the women in his life and indicate an intellectual engagement with questions of intimacy, attachment, and desire. This chapter examines how the different poems attached to Sophia, Jane, and Mary seem to produce from Shelley different emotional and psychological insights that might refer back to the particularity of those relationships without being bound to them. While the poems relay a personal sense of Shelley's emotional and erotic life, they also indicate his acute understanding of the inequalities of romance, the imbalance of a desirous one to a resistant other, and the dynamics of submission and domination implicit in the experiences of desire and denial.

Keywords: Percy Bysshe Shelley; English poets; Romantic poets; lyric poems; love poems; Sophia Stacey; Jane Williams; Mary Shelley

Article.  8117 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Studies (19th Century) ; Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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