Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote poetry with extremely vivid imagery, but could his works be considered "Romantic?"

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Holmes can be considered a Romantic poet for a couple of valid reasons.  Holmes was able to write about poetry that impacted him.  The subjective experience was sought to be broadened out to others.  This is Romantic by nature because it seeks to make that which is individual, a universal quality. At the same time, I think that Holmes is a Romantic poet because part of this expression was a love of emotions.  The zeal for emotional expression or passion was seen in poems such as "Old Ironsides," a work where the "intensely emotional" element was evident.  This, too, is a Romantic quality because it does not seek to overcome emotions, but rather integrate them in a meaningful way to appropriate the world and all that is in it.  While he possessed a penchant for science that might have not made him entirely Romantic, Holmes was able to develop a way where the beauty of science and of emotional expressions that convey his love of science could be seen as actually Romantic expressions of the good.