Robert Browning- Born in Camberwell, London on the 7th May of the year 1812, Robert Browning is known as one of the major English poets of the Victorian era. Browning was a playwright and a poet and was majorly famous for his poetry filled with dark humour, irony, unconventional characterisation and representation of society.
Meeting At Night- “Meeting at Night” by Robert Browning is a beautiful masterpiece, a romantic poem belonging to the Victorian era. The poem consists of 2 stanzas constituted of a total of 12 lines and portrays the speaker’s journey towards his reunion with his beloved. A deeper analysis of the poem highlights the significance of motion and effort in order to gain and achieve in every aspect of life.
Setting of Meeting At Night-
The poem is set in a landscape with the ocean, a beach of sorts, with the speaker moving from the land to the ocean, sailing in the ocean towards the coast and finally reaching a farm, reuniting with his beloved.
Poetic Devices in Meeting At Night-
Repetition: “And the yellow half-moon large and low; And the startled little waves that leap”; “And blue spurt of a lighted match, And a voice less loud, thro’ its joys and fears”
Alliteration: “And the yellow half-moon large and low”; “And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand”
“The grey sea and the long black land; (A)
And the yellow half-moon large and low; (B)
And the startled little waves that leap (C)
In fiery ringlets from their sleep, (C)
As I gain the cove with pushing prow, (B)
And quench its speed i’ the slushy sand.” (A)
Summary of Meeting At Night-
The speaker starts by describing the landscape, the land appearing “black” since it is the night time (probably early morning) and the sea is being described as “gray”, as the colour of the water in the dim moonlight of the “yellow half-moon large and low” appears to be gray. The speaker then indicates to us that the previous description was of his view from the boat he is sailing in. Then he goes forward describing the little waves that leap in the sea in a startled and fierce manner. The poet’s description of the waves is set in a contrast, “startled little waves” leaping in the sea like “fiery ringlets”. The speaker says that as he pushes the row harder, he sails nearer to the coast, speeding towards the slushy sand of the beach. The speaker then tells the readers that a mile from the beach, three fields appear and after crossing the fields there is a farm. Upon reaching the farm, the poet taps on the “plane” of the window and the light from a match flickers. The speaker’s beloved comes on the window to greet him. Both the lovers greet each other and their heartbeats sync with their union.
Critical Analysis of Meeting At Night-
“Meeting at Night” is a beautiful romantic poem by Robert Browning. As it is conventional for a Victorian romantic poem, the poet provides vivid imagery, almost magical, to put forward the theme of Love. The poem also highlights the significance of motion in life, the entire course of the poem constituting of some kind of movement, whether of the speaker or of the forever-alive sea.
Tone of Meeting At Night-
The poem is written in a calm, soothing tone that successfully expresses the emotion of love and provides an imagery with a magical essence.
Conclusion- “Meeting at Night” is a magnificent poem that beautifully highlights the vulnerability and the strength of love, as well as the importance of effort in achieving one’s desires.