Updated: Jul 27, 2022
Georgian poetry was a poetic movement in England that lasted from 1910 to 1936 during the reign of King George V. Scholars have noted that the original concept for the Georgian Poetry anthologies came about as a joke between Edward Marsh, Duncan Grant, and George Mallory. It was their intention to publish a party of the numerous small books of poetry appearing in the 1910s.
While they took on the task light-heartedly at first, they soon decided to focus on the volumes more seriously.
These poets including few others, were only influential on their contemporaries for a short period of time. But their names are all quite well-known today. The Georgian Poetry anthologies, which included five separate collections, were published by Harold Monro and edited by Edward Marsh. The first included poems written in 1911 and 1912. Female poets were only included in the final two volumes.
Georgian poetry, or Georgianism, is defined by a respect for formal qualities of poetry and romantic subject matter. The poems used clear and simple rhyme schemes and metrical patterns and often uses themes of nature and rural life.
After the First World War, the Georgian poetry movement vanished into the background. It was replaced by various movements within the broader modernist genre. Today, the word “Georgian” can have a pejorative connotation when applied to poetry.
The movement is perfectly situated in-between the Victorian era and Modernism. The Former is known for its stoic adherence to traditional formal principles while the alters defined by the exact opposite. Most of the poems published in the anthologies were marked by their romanticism and hedonism. Many were also noted for their sentimentality.
Importance of Georgian Poetry
Today, as a movement, Georgianism has been become an ancient history. It took place between the Victorian Period and the start of Modernism and going to have less of an impact than the movements that arose before and after it. This is less of a testament to the movement and more of a testament to the strength of their individual works and how it responds with the public.
Features of Georgian Poetry
· It is simple and romantic and positively aims in all type of poetry.
· Free from gorgeous expressions and thoughts.
· revolts against the Victorian didactics but uses of archaic diction.
· Nature, Love, Childhood, old age, sleep and animals are the recurring themes.
· The poetry for common people and not only for the learned.
· It is full of pure melody and avoids philosophic and religious themes.
Examples of Georgian Poetry
The works of the participating poets were included in Georgian Poetry, a series of anthologies.
1) Storm in the Black Forest by D.H. Lawrence
It is about storm that the speaker recalls, perhaps Lawrence himself, saw in the Black Forest. It is thought that this was an experience he documented approximately a year before he died, making ‘Storm in the Black Forest’ one of the last poems Lawrence ever wrote. The speaker talks about the lack of control he has over nature and then informs that humanity is at the mercy of external natural forces.
2) The Cool Web by Robert Graves
Graves explores human experience and communication. Throughout, he uses figurative language and emotionally interesting images to portray how useful and important speech is. It is used to define the human experience and by altering one’s speech one can, in theory, alter the experience.
3) Humming-bird by D.H. Lawrence
Here the poet represents the musings of a speaker enchanted by a hummingbird’s fantastical past. The poem begins with the speaker re-counting how he’s able to “imagine” a world that’s different from that he understands on a daily basis.
4) The Great Lover by Rupert Brooke
In this mostly optimistic poem, the speaker spends time talking about the kind of life he lived and full of happiness. He has been a “great lover” of life, experiences, and physical objects. The poem concludes with the speaker looking into the future and thinking about what comes after death. He knows when he dies that he’s going to lose everything he loved in his life.