2 February 2006
Believe it or not, I managed to graduate from a four-year university, with a Bachelor's degree in English literature, without having to read anything by Byron. So my first exposure to his work came last night, when I read the first Canto of Childe Harold's Pilgrimage. I know the guy was a big noise in the Romantic period, and he sold a hillion jillion copies of his work, etc., but I had to laugh when I read the stuff. Honestly, he just sounds like an overwrought goth kiddie. Observe:
"Yet oft-times in his maddest mirthful mood
Strange pangs would flash along Childe Harold's brow,
As if the memory of some deadly feud
Or disappointed passion lurked below:
But this none knew, nor haply cared to know;
For his was not that open, artless soul
That feels relief by bidding sorrow flow,
Nor sought he friend to counsel or condole,
Whate'er this grief mote be, which he could not control.
And none did love him! -- though to hall and bower
He gathered revellers from far and near,
He knew them flatterers of the festal hour,
The heartless Parasites of present cheer.
Yea! none did love him ..."
... yeah. It goes on like that. I don't question his sincerity, I just think he needed to get over himself.