Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

"Lines of Light": Poetic Variations in Wordsworth, Byron, and Shelley.'

Sandy, Mark

"Lines of Light": Poetic Variations in Wordsworth, Byron, and Shelley.' Thumbnail



Recognising the importance of Wordsworth's sense of nascent light (elegised in his ‘Ode: Intimations of Immortality’), the essay traces how influential this idea was on later Romantic poetic treatments of light. Wordsworth's qualitative distinction between the ‘fountain light of all our day’ and the ‘light of common day’ reveals his alertness to the revelatory and blinding effects of light and establishes the terms of Byron's and Shelley's imaginative engagement with the transformative aspects of light in their depiction of Italian cityscapes and coastal scenes. This transformative quality of light, for Byron and Shelley, is inextricable from those utopian aspirations to recapture future edenic states, which are configured in terms that consign such future idylls to the irrecoverable past. Finally, Shelley's The Triumph of Life is read as avowing an apocalyptic, rather than transformative, light whose ‘severe excess’ is still reimagined in terms familiar to the reader of Wordsworth's ‘Ode’.


Sandy, M. (2016). "Lines of Light": Poetic Variations in Wordsworth, Byron, and Shelley.'. Romanticism, 22(3), 260-268.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Sep 1, 2016
Publication Date Oct 1, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 5, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 5, 2016
Journal Romanticism
Print ISSN 1354-991X
Electronic ISSN 1750-0192
Publisher Edinburgh University Press
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 22
Issue 3
Pages 260-268


You might also like

Downloadable Citations