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My first impression of Byron’s poem was that it had a very sweet and calm tone to it and that it’s is about love which was very pleasant to read about.  It makes me feel delighted and fascinated. A line that especially evokes the first feeling for me is, “She walks in beauty, like the night of cloudless climes and starry skies” The other feeling – of fascination arises when I read the line(s), “But tell of days in goodness spent, A mind at peace with all below, A heart whose love is innocent!”.  Perhaps because I love the rhyme in the last 3 lines of the line and how it has a pattern throughout the poem.

What I know about the situation – what’s happening in the poem – is that the speaker of the poem is clearly mesmerized by this female they are describing in the poem. What I know about the speaker is that they are the kind of person who was possibly very smitten. This is suggested by the line “where thoughts serenely sweet express”.  The speaker seems to be speaking to a female, or perhaps to his female fans. I say this because the poem does not spring from anything. The poem revolves around several themes, including love and awe.

If this poem was a question, the answer would be “I think she’s beautiful”.  If it were an answer, the question would be “What do you think about her?” The title suggests that this person walks in beauty meaning they are beautiful.

The poem’s form is iambic tetrameter. This form is a vehicle for the content of the poem.  If the poem were a haiku, it would not guide me toward an understanding of the poem’s meaning. Without it being an iambic tetrameter, I wouldn’t come to understand that this person is very much in love and thinks a lot of good things about this female.

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CC BY-SA 4.0 A Close Reading of “She Walks in Beauty” by Lord Byron by Anaee is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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