Browning’s famous poetry collection Dramatis
Personae includes the poems like James
Lee’s Wife, Gold Hair: A Story of Pornic,
The Worst of It, Dīs Aliter
Too Late, Abt
Rabbi Ben Ezra, Death in
the Desert, Deaf and Dumb, Prospice
and several other poems.
Browning’s poetry is famous for his robust optimism. This is
evident in his famous lines from Rabbi Ben Ezra:
old along with me!
best is yet to be.
Ben Ezra clearly shows that the poet welcomes every sorrow and
adversity. He advises us to “welcome each rebuff”. In one
of the most eloquent lines Robert Browning inspires us thus:
“Be our joys three-parts pain.”
an excellent line! His optimism looks true and convincing, as
it is not a mere abstraction.
reason for the singularity of his optimism is that he is not
afraid of death. This is reflected in his poem Prospice
included in Dramatis
Personae that he wrote as a tribute to his wife Elizabeth
Barrett Browning. Prospice
is a Latin word that means ‘look forward’. The idea of the
poet is that death will give him an opportunity to meet his
wife. The uniqueness of this poem is that the poet regards
death as the best and last fight:
I was ever a fighter, so---one fight more,
best and the last!
would hate that Death bandaged my eyes, and forbore,
made me creep past.
let me taste the whole of it, fare like my peers,
heroes of old,
the brunt, in a minute pay glad life's arrears
pain, darkness and cold.
a terrific line! The poet dislikes that Death ‘bandaged’
his eyes. His optimism is not of idle and wordy type. He is
willing to fight death, looking it full in face with an
immense heartiness. Death is “the best and the last”
fight. The line shows immense physical zest of Browning.
is absolutely certain of meeting his wife. Browning is at his
best in his lyric Prospice.
optimism pervades all his poetry. This is quite different from
the elegiac note that is predominant in Matthew Arnold’s
poetry. Browning is full of zest in his attitude toward life:
but a man's reach should exceed his grasp.
what's a heaven for?
There is nothing doubtful and pessimistic in all his poetry.
He aptly says:
is in Heaven
is right with the world.
has conquered life, instead of being conquered by it” (James
Santosh Kumar, Editor, Cyberwit.net