How much of an influence does music bear on Scottish and Irish poetry? Do we see the same with English Romantics?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Irish are great singers, and like the Scottish, place great importance on the art of song. The distinctions between poems, songs and hymns are blurred to such an extent that some poems are songs (Endearing Young Charms by Thomas Moore) and some songs are poems too (The Skye Boat Song.) It is possible that singing stories and ballad poems added a rhythm that made them easier to remember and re-tell. Many of these poem songs were called 'airs' in reference to the tune or melody. Scottish and Irish people were often so poor that music was their only entertainment and so babies would soak up harmony from a young age. This influences speech, language, poetry and song. Songs however are more likely to have 'repeats' such as a chorus. many of the English Romantics would have been familiar with and influenced by these old pieces too as they wrote.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is a difference among the three.

Irish poetry, represented by both Yeats and Moore was epitomized by the use of folklore, nationalist beats, Celtic mysticism, tradition, and soul. This is why to them the use of symbols came accompanied by a unique rhythm that was best expressed in the form of chants, songs, and cantos.

English Romantics were more interested in the form and substance represented in poetry and prose, particularly that of a bucolic (pastoral) nature that would be descriptive enough NOT to need symbols nor metaphors.

When you think about it, each trend is quite inherent to each country's idiosyncrasies, mannerisms, and history, which leads us to conclude that culture and literature are consequences and causes of each other.