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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Of the ‘big six’ romantic poets, who would your perfect romantic match be?

Caution: the standards are low


By MIAH JORDANE — mjcampos@ucdavis.edu


There are a plethora of period-drama pieces within cinema, theater and literature: “Pride and Prejudice,” “Bridgerton,” “Hamilton,” “Little Women” –– the list goes on. Despite the problematic aspects of the eras these pieces take place in, there’s a fixation with romanticizing and fantasizing about life during older times. The Romantic Period was particularly interested in the romanticization of life through art and literature; we can specifically see this within the “big six” romantic poets: William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, John Keats, Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley. Their poetry highlights their romantic perspectives on life, but how would they actually carry themselves within their romantic lives? Here’s my opinion on if the “big six” would actually be as “romantic” as their poetry makes them sound, or if they would even treat you well at all…


William Wordsworth: Sadly, we are off to a rough start. Wordsworth wouldn’t be obsessed with you because he’s too busy being obsessed with himself. Confidence can make someone attractive, but narcissism kind of does the opposite. Unlike the other poets, if you were to date him, you wouldn’t even get some decent poems written about you out of the experience because they’d all be about how romantic of a partner he is instead. 


Samuel Taylor Coleridge: To put it simply, Coleridge would not be emotionally available for a relationship. He definitely has some daddy issues he has yet to confront, and, let’s be real, he might be a romantic but he’d likely not be romantic for you… He’s rumored to be in love with William Wordsworth. This isn’t an issue, in fact, we are all rooting for him. However, you’d most likely never be number one in Coleridge’s heart if you were to date him. If you’re okay with that, though, then at least you would have some nice poetry written about you. 


Lord Byron: The archetype of history’s classic, bad-boy poet of the nineteenth century. This relationship would be a toxic mess, but I wouldn’t necessarily blame you for giving it a shot. As a founding father to vampire literature, a political activist and a man with adventurously fluid sexuality, Lord Byron seems to have been quite charming and appealing during his times. Perhaps his bad-boy charm would work on you, too. 


Percy Bysshe Shelley: Oh, Shelley. Hopping from wife to wife –– even marrying a sixteen-year-old girl to supposedly save her from suicide, only to get annoyed with her and leave her for another woman. Shelley has a history of not being loyal. If you engaged in a relationship with Shelley, I bet it would be quite invigorating as he’s a charming romantic poet, but it would also be short-lived –– like his ex. Sorry. 


John Keats: Last but not least, John Keats: the moody, broody, mysteriously passionate soul who died too young. Keats infamously fell in love with the girl next door, therefore ending the list as the most wholesome of the six romantic poets. Though he never married, in this imaginary world where you are in fact dating Keats, I’m sure he would be true to the romantic poet title and would have a cute, wholesome romance.


In retrospect, this list isn’t super promising. But who is shocked that the romantic poets also had pretty chaotic, realistic romantic lives? No one. 


Written by: Miah Jordane — mjcampos@ucdavis.edu 


Disclaimer: (This article is humor and/or satire, and its content is purely fictional. The story and the names of “sources” are fictionalized.)


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