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In the poem Ode to Beauty Mary Darby Robinson describes her life in a rather depressing way. She starts by discussing her first child birth. At first I thought her to be describing a person when she mentioned “azure eyes” and “golden hair.” Then she later uses words such as Ill-natured and jealousy to lead the reader to believe she is talking about the father. During the later stanzas she discusses how she came to fame and found a new husband through this fame. Towards the end of the poem she seems to have been left by this man and creates a morose outlook on love.

This poem became popular in the romantic era because that era was full of strong emotion, imagination, and freedom. The Victorian era was very different however. The Victorian era muffled emotion and feeling. A poem like this may have been seen as a scandal and would be squashed by society.

The two eras may have their differences but that doesn’t change the story being told or the impact it has made. Mary Robinson was a hopeless romantic who couldn’t find love in the right places. It seems every man she had been with left her and broke her heart at some point. She never was on the other end in this poem about her romantic life. She writes as if it is woe is me and ironically in the poem it was her actions that put her in the situations she was in. For example after she became famous she got caught up in her fame and rushed into a relationship. In the end we should perhaps feel sorry for Mary but be aware of her actions and consequences. 

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