Analysis of Anne Finch’s “To the Nightingale” and “The Spleen”

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and To the Nightingale by Anne Finch are some of her well-known complex and poignant poems. They tackle issues in the society in a way aimed at highlighting on the need for consideration. What is more, the poems demonstrate some of the predominant subjects that many writers around 1700 wrote about such as melancholic themes. The theories relied upon charges of ignorance and hypocrisy levels in the medical opinion.

Many critics are keen to note how the texts deal with the mental issue in particular depression. Based on that, The Spleen which references melancholia, one of the four senses of humor, directly addresses distress, “I feel my verse decay, and my cramped numbers fail. Though thy black jaundice I all object see, As dark and terrible as thee (Finch).”The depiction of Finch as a lady with depression is one area of concern. When critics deal with rational debate, they imply that women writers are an inconsistency. Such assessment poses a risk of prejudice interpretations on their works. Thus, a suggestion would be not to concentrate on her depression but instead embrace a holistic approach.

Based on that, the scenario is evident in the contemporary society. Often, women writers embrace a sad tone with regards to writing their content. They highlight how the society unfairly judges them by permanently damaging their reputation through defining their poetry from a predetermined viewpoint. Some struggle with depression but the conditions should not form a defining point of their identity. Instead, diversity should come in place to suggest an equally diverse life experience. Being more liberal in poetry would be beneficial to critics and a wakeup call for embracing diversity in their work.

In conclusion, Finch played a crucial role in shaping societal perceptions. Despite the backlash and attack, one cannot assume her role in the poetry world. She tackles mental health issues and how people use them to come up with perceived notions. Thus, aims to change the position through poetry.

Works Cited

Finch, Anne. “The Spleen.”Eighteenth-Century Poetry: An Annotated Anthology (1997): 22-26.

Hinnant, Charles H. “Song and Speech in Anne Finch’s”To the Nightingale“.”Studies in English literature, 1500-1900 31.3 (1991): 499-513.

December 12, 2023



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