She Walks In Beauty by Lord Byron and Douglas Dunn's Reincarnation

She Walks In Beauty by Lord Byron and Douglas Dunn's Reincarnation

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Both She Walks In Beauty by Lord Byron and Douglas Dunn's Reincarnation
are about romance.

"She Walks In Beauty"/ "Reincarnation"

Both "She Walks In Beauty" by Lord Byron and Douglas Dunn's
"Reincarnation" are about romance. Although this is true they have
much to be contrasted. "She Walks In Beauty" is about a man who is
truly besotted with a woman who, from my observations, he doesn't even
know. I think this from the fact that he doesn't talk about anything
except for her looks and he says that he doesn't know her name:

Had half impair'd the nameless grace
====================================

The poet takes pleasures from the woman's beauty and, unlike
"Reincarnation" by Dunn, the poem mainly focuses on the woman's sexual
attraction. She is often compared to perfection:

Of cloudless climes and starry skies

This also shows just how infatuated he is with her. This is an immense
scale to put her on as it compares her not only to a section of a
country but to the enormity and perfection of the galaxy. This
metaphor also refers to her mysterious nature because -the poem was
written almost two hundred years ago, in the early nineteenth century-
not much was known about the night skies as it is so far away nobody
has ever been there. This also shows how little he knows about her. A
sense of adulation also occurs throughout Lord Byron's poem and it
seems as though he cannot criticise her at all.

This is completely contrasted with the bond between himself and the
woman in Dunn's "Reincarnation". We can say, almost certainly, that
"Reincarnation" is autobiographical, as we know that Dunn's wife died
in 1984 from cancer. I think the sudden and premature death of his
wife has been the inspiration for this poem that is so full of naked
emotion and so full of true love, unlike the lust for the woman in the
poem by Lord Byron, that you can almost feel his pain.

For now I know the shame of being late,

Too late.

This shows the sorrow he is feeling. It also hints at remorse, giving
us the sense that he feels slightly guilty about the death, which was
obviously not his fault. It could also be showing us that he feels he
has unfinished business with her or maybe he feels that he didn't have
chance to say goodbye because he was so unprepared for it.

The diction chosen by Lord Byron is very sophisticated. The words he
chooses to use, such as eloquent make his poem flow with a smooth and
graceful rhythm. The rhymes in "She Walks In Beauty" are monosyllabic

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masculine rhymes, such as night, bright and light as in the first
stanza; however, the rhymes in "Reincarnation" are much more
disjointed creating and awkwardness which is reflective of the mood in
the poem. The diction in "Reincarnation is much more colloquial making
us able to relate to this poem much more easily than to the other.
Dunn, in this poem, doesn't think of different words to use to widen
the vocabulary of the poem but he repeats words that he has already
used:

I must mourn (line 6)

Her treasured stories mourn (line 18)

He also chooses to use words, which may be deemed inappropriate to the
given situation. The word stuff (line 16) is one such word. Throughout
this poem there are many half, or feminine, rhymes adding to the jerky
and hard to read rhythm of the poem. This convulsive rhythm is
complemented with enjambment, which is cut off midway through the next
line, by sesura:

She waits for me at home
========================

Tonight, in the house-shadows.
==============================

The kind of love we can feel from the words of Dunn's poem is pure and
it is obvious that he loved his wife very much, as he tells us that he
will mourn forever over her:

And I must mourn
================

Until Equator crawls to Capricorn
=================================

Or murder in the sun melts down

The Arctic and Antarctica.

We also see a realization within Dunn's attitude as he sees the life
of everything, extremely important.

When bees collide
=================

Against my study's windowpane, I let them in.

"She Walks in Beauty" is a much more lustful poem and is fantastic in
the true meaning of the word. Byron tries to get across the true
beauty he sees in this wondrous being but it is as if he cannot find
words that are strong enough to express his feelings:

So soft, so calm, yet so eloquent
=================================

Eloquent actually means fluent in speech so to use it to describe the
way she looks makes it an extremely powerful and meaningful adjective,
which, again, shows his total obsession with the woman, he is
watching.

Both poems have religious overtones. In "She Walks In Beauty" she is
called and angel and referred to looking down at the world:

Mind at peace with all below,
=============================

In "Reincarnations" the religious aspect is much more obvious as he
referrer to her as his Lady Christ. This remark could almost be
blasphemy as it is such a strong overtone. The subject of
"Reincarnations" is also alluded to as omni-present as he calls her a
watchful poltergeist.

Although in the poem "She Walks In Beauty" the subject is living there
is a distance between her and the voice of the poem. The opposite is
true for Dunn's "Reincarnation." Although the subject is not living
there seems to be no distance between Dunn and his late wife although
she is deceased.

The diction and style of "She Walks In Beauty" differs tremendously
from the diction and style in "Reincarnation." The themes of the two
poems are both of romance, even though the type of love Byron feels is
lust and not the true type of love Dunn still feels for his departed
wife.
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