from Anactoria

By Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837–1909

after Sappho

Yea, thou shalt be forgotten like spilt wine,
Except these kisses of my lips on thine
Brand them with immortality; but me –
Men shall not see bright fire nor hear the sea,
Nor mix their hearts with music, nor behold
Cast forth of heaven, with feet of awful gold
And plumeless wings that make the bright air blind,
Lightning, with thunder for a hound behind
Hunting through fields unfurrowed and unsown,
But in the light and laughter, in the moan
And music, and in grasp of lip and hand
And shudder of water that makes felt on land
The immeasurable tremor of all the sea,
Memories shall mix and metaphors of me.

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Poet Algernon Charles Swinburne 1837–1909

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

Subjects Love, Heartache & Loss

 Algernon Charles Swinburne

Biography

Swinburne was one of the most accomplished lyric poets of the Victorian era and was a preeminent symbol of rebellion against the conservative values of his time. The explicit and often pathological sexual themes of his most important collection of poetry, Poems and Ballads (1866), delighted some, shocked many, and became the dominant feature of Swinburne's image as both an artist and an individual. Nevertheless, critics have . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Love, Heartache & Loss

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Victorian

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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