An analysis of Lord Byrons Poem The Darkness

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An analysis of Lord Byron’s Poem; The Darkness
After going through the various poems that I had access to, I decided to analyze Lord
Byron’s poem; Darkness. Byron uses English language in a creative manner to bring out an
absurd effect to the reader. Moreover, the poem has a unique theme since it describes the end of
the world that will see the destruction of any form of life. The Darkness draws a picture of the
destructive events that will take place during the end of the world (Byron and Gordon 29).
However, he reveals that the destructive human activities will be the real cause of the end and
not the judgement day as many may think. This essay will therefore attempt to analyse the
structure and form of Lord Byron’s poem, The Darkness.
The poem is a blank verse since it lacks form and structure. This is a unique technique
that is commonly used in dramatic and narrative verse forms. The lines vary in length since some
are short while others are long. These lines do not follow a predictable pattern regarding their
length. For instance, the line, “And gnash'd their teeth and howl'd: the wild birds shriek'd” (Line
31) while “Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth(Line 4) is very short. Also, the poem uses
an unrhymed iambic pentameter as seen in these lines:
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Morn came and went --- and came, and brought no day,
And men forgot their passions in the dread (6-7)
The irregular rhyme scheme does not assist in a predictable rhythmical patter either. The rhyme
scheme of the first eight lines is; ab cd ef gb which cements the conclusion that the Lord Byron’s
poem; Darkness, is a blank verse.
Lord Byron carefully chooses his diction to bring out a vivid description of how the
world will be during its ending. He uses emotional and descriptive words that create an absurd
and resigned tone. First, he chooses the noun ‘Darkness’ as the title of the poem. The word
evokes fear and it forebodes the end of life on earth. Secondly, he introduces the poem in a very
provoking manner when he writes "I had a dream, which was not all a dream" (Line 1). The first
‘dream’ makes the reader feel like this is an imaginary poem only for the second ‘dream’ to
nullify the previous feeling which further fuels the feeling of fear and uncertainty on what is
ahead. Other nouns in the poem that evoke the feelings of the reader are:
The adjectives such as “ray less”, “wander” and “pathless” are used to describe the stars
and effectively create a sense of desperation and hopelessness to the dwellers of the earth. The
same effect is brought by the adjective “extinguished” which is used many times in the poem to
describe the sun and at the end, the loss of fire. Lastly, Byron effectively uses metaphors when
he describes human being as animals and unreasonable beings that plan their doom. He writes:
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Even dogs assail'd their masters, all save one
Till hunger clung them, or the dropping dead” (46:50
The poem made me to reflect about the kind of life human beings are living on earth.
Everyone is very busy destroying the environment without caring the effects pollution of
environment has on the world at large. Global warming is one of the current concerns for those
who care about the well being of the earth planet. However, the majority of the human beings
does not care and are not concerned with the many seminars, workshops and campaigns that are
calling for the awareness of the need to take care of the environment. It is sad that almost
everyone is waiting and thinks that the world will end during the Judgment Day yet we are the
ones creating the end of the world through our unthinkable acts and as fate will have it Did
wander darkling in the eternal space,”(2:3)
In conclusion, Lord Byron’s poem has made me realize how English language can be
creatively used to evoke deep feelings among the readers. All this is possible by the clever
diction that a poet decides to use. Moreover, the deep feelings are maintained throughout the
poem together with the appropriate rhythm. I would therefore advise my fellow Chinese readers
who are interested in poetry to approach the English poetry in an open mind so as to understand
the form and structure of English poems.
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Works cited
Byron, George Gordon. "Lord.“Darkness.”." The Prisoner of Chillon, and Other Poems: 27-32.

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