In a London Drawingroom

By George Eliot 1819–1880 George Eliot
The sky is cloudy, yellowed by the smoke.
For view there are the houses opposite
Cutting the sky with one long line of wall
Like solid fog: far as the eye can stretch
Monotony of surface & of form
Without a break to hang a guess upon.
No bird can make a shadow as it flies,
For all is shadow, as in ways o'erhung
By thickest canvass, where the golden rays
Are clothed in hemp. No figure lingering
Pauses to feed the hunger of the eye
Or rest a little on the lap of life.
All hurry on & look upon the ground,
Or glance unmarking at the passers by
The wheels are hurrying too, cabs, carriages
All closed, in multiplied identity.
The world seems one huge prison-house & court
Where men are punished at the slightest cost,
With lowest rate of colour, warmth & joy.

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Poet George Eliot 1819–1880

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries

Poetic Terms Blank Verse

 George  Eliot

Biography

George Eliot is widely recognized as one of the most important writers of the nineteenth century; yet her two volumes of poetry are often ignored in modern critical assessments. Like so many of her contemporaries, Eliot tried to make significant literary contributions in more than one genre; her poems—both narrative and lyric—deal, however, with some of the same themes which inform her novels and short stories. Her poems are . . .

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Poems by George Eliot

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Cities & Urban Life, Social Commentaries

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Poetic Terms Blank Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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