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The Fish Essay

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Semansky publishes widely in the field of twentieth century poetry and culture. In the following essay, he considers how Moore's poem is both a Romantic poem and a modern one.

Presented as a description of the sea's power and beauty, "The Fish" presents a Romantic subject in a modern way. Like so much Romantic poetry, it deifies nature; however, with its hard-edged imagery, its shifting subject, and its odd syllabic construction, it belongs to modernism. Occupying the middle ground between these two "isms," Moore's poem is a bridge of sorts between new and old ways of thinking about nature.

Writing some two hundred years ago, Romantic poets such as William Wordsworth represented humanity's response to the grandeur of nature as one of awe and terror. This feeling is called the sublime. In 1757, Edmund Burke drew a distinction between the sublime and the beautiful in his treatise A Philosophical...

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This section contains 1,235 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Fish Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
The Fish from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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