What do John Keats, Ghalib, and Charles Baudelaire have in common? They were all great poets from Romanticism. Lexico’s online dictionary defines Romanticism as “an artistic and intellectual movement originating in Europe in the late 18th century and characterized by a heightened interest in nature, emphasis on the individual’s expression of emotion and imagination, departure from the attitudes and forms of classicism, and rebellion against established social rules and conventions”. Although most people think that works from the Romanticism movement are about love, they will quickly discover that many of the poems contain a sense of melancholy and sadness, with references to nature. Three great examples of this are Baudelaire’s “A Carrion”, Keats” “Ode on a Grecian Urn”, and Ghalib’s V and XII Ghazals. .
Baudelaire’s “A Carrion” is a fine example of melancholy, as it is expressed by nature and the natural process of dying and decaying. We must first understand that a carrion is a dead carcass of an animal. Once this is discovered, it can automatically be assumed that this poem is dealing with death and will probably not contain much happiness. The poem begins with what appears to be a couple walking along during a nice summer day, and there they saw the object that was the dead animal that was laying belly up on the side of the road with its legs spread like a prostitute. Baudelaire then discusses, in detail, how the animal’s carcass is burning in the hot sun and producing a foul odor. It is then stated that the sun gives back to nature her own gift, a hundredfold of her desire. This gives the sense that everyone is part of nature and Mother Nature has given us the gift of life. When our lives are over, our bodies are rightfully returned to Nature as another gift. Baudelaire then reiterates how putrid of an odor is being produced from the animal, and the girl in the couple that is observing the dead animal almost passes out from the stench.