An Appreciation of She Walks in Beauty
“She Walks in Beauty” is a famous poem written by George Gordon Byron, also known as Lord Byron. The poem describes a lady of extraordinary beauty in a unique way, which makes the poem quite different and interesting. This paper analysis the poem from the perspective of the poem’s writing background, symbols, rhyme and form, and themes, aiming at interpreting the poem comprehensively.
Key words: appreciation; rhyme and form; symbols; themes
“She Walks in Beauty” is a lyric poem describing the extraordinary beauty of a young lady. George Gordon Byron, known as Lord Byron, wrote the poem in 1814 after he attended a party with his friend. “Among the guests was the wife of Byron’s cousin, the beautiful Mrs. Anne Beatrix Wilmot, who had just lost her husband and wore a black mourning gown brightened with spangles.”. Her fairy-like looks dazzled Byron and inspired him to write “She Walks in Beauty.”
2.1 Night and Day, Dark and Light
The contrast between night and day, and dark and light, is the image that goes through the entire poem. This contrast is an interesting image: comparing beautiful women to "night" instead of comparing them to "summer's days", which could be easily seen in Shakespeare’s sonnet. But Byron turns that convention, which suggests that it's the harmony of two contrasting opposites, like night and day, or light and dark.
Line 1: This is where the basic simile of the whole poem is established: the beauty of the woman is "like the night."
Line 2: Of cloudless climes and starry skies. This line further illustrates the beauty of the lady.
Line 3 and line 4: And all that’s best of dark and bright Meet in her aspects and her eyes indicate that the lady’s eyes are bright and shining.
Line 5 and line 6: Thus mellowed to that tender light Which Heaven to gaudy day denies give an illustration of...