Reflective Poetry: Meaning and Examples
Basically, it is a poetry that shows how a poet sees the world. The poet thinks back on a thing, a person, or a time in his or her life. Simply put, It’s just a reflection of how the poet felt at the time, written in a poetic way.
Compared to lyrics, reflective poetry is longer, more thought-out, and harder to understand. Most of Pope’s and Wordsworth’s poetry, especially Prelude, is reflective. Elegy by Thomas Gray is one of the most reflective and meditative poems ever written in English.
Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard is made up of four lines of ten syllables each. It was written in 1750. The poem shows that the poet was feeling reflective. He is moved by his ancestors’ graves and the simple things they did. At the end of the poem, there is a personal note in which the poet imagines his own death, his burial in the churchyard, and the inscription on his own tombstone. This reflective poetry is great and popular because he writes about everything. The sad parts of human life and the people who live near a village church in a remote part of southern England are shown in a very quiet and reflective way.
The poet adds his or her own style to the poem. He stays in the churchyard for a long time and thinks about life and death. Gray takes a sympathetic view of this complicated life-and-death situation and grows an interest in helping people, which is one of the most important parts of romantic poetry.
There is no clear line between poetry that is lyrical and poetry that is reflective. For example, if Wordsworth’s poem “The Rainbow” had talked about how nature affects people, it would not have been lyrical poetry, but reflective poetry. These two things often go together.
Wordsworth’s ‘Tintern Abbey’ and ‘Immortality Ode’, as well as Keats’ three odes: ‘To a Nightingale’, ‘On a Grecian Urn,’ and ‘To autumn,’ are considered to be among the greatest examples of reflective poetry ever written.
In Memoriam (1850) by Tennyson is also the most important reflective poem written during the Victorian era. It talks about how the poet’s sadness and bitterness slowly go away over time as he learns more about Christianity.