Poem introduction

What is often thought of as one of Byron’s most perfect love poems was not in fact inspired by someone he was in love with but out of a sense of simple aesthetic appreciation. One night in 1814 he met his cousin’s wife Anne Wilmot at a party, dressed in mourning with dark spangles on her black dress, and next day he wrote this pure lyric carefully balancing images of darkness and soft evening light.

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Over the years I’ve become increasingly interested in the lyrical nature of poetry. I find that the more I’ve taken in...

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