Parting at Morning Introduction
In A Nutshell
We've all been there. You know, that awkward moment after a really magical first kiss or  date that's totally awesome  but has to end at some point. How do you end it on a good note? A notawkward note? How do you, to put it simply,  part ways? What to do, what to do!Well, that happens to be precisely the sort of moment that "obert #rowning is referring to in his $%&$ poem,
Parting at Morning
. His speaker  has (ust had a rather wonderful evening with his lady lover in )eeting at  *ight, +the preuel to -arting at )orning, and here we see him coming to terms with the dawn of a new day and that somewhat startling afterglow of a great night. )aybe you've heard frat boys referring to a walk of shame/a slightly less poetic way of referring to lovers parting at morning. Well, in #rowning's aubade +poem about lovers at dawn, we've got a speaker  doing the walk while having a revelatory moment that's reflected in the surrounding landscape. 0here's no shame to be found.1nstead, our speaker suddenly becomes aware of the outside world around him, which had been temporarily obscured  by the passionate intimacy from the night before. 2ast night was all about the unity he felt with his lover. *ow, with the dawn of morning, the speaker is reminded of the world of men that demands his attention. After parting with hislover, he's once again gotta be a separate individual with separate responsibilities. #ummer, dude. 3o as wonderful as those magical nights may be, we're reminded in this poem that those magical moments can't last forever. 4ventually morning comes, and you've gotta shower, brush your teeth, and go to work. 3ure, that doesn't mean your all those ooeygooey, loveydovey feelings go away, but it does mean you've got to backburner them for a while while you take care of business. 5ne last thing6 before reading -arting at )orning, check out )eeting at *ight for a better idea of what the world looked like to the speaker in his more unified and swoony state of mind. 0hese two poems go hand in hand, and not even dawn could separate them.
Why Should I Care?
3ometimes we'd all like a little insight into the way we feel, especially when it involves love. As it turns out, we're rarely alone when it comes to the common sorts of feelings people e7perience, whether we're talking about romantic intimacy or the awkwardness of a sudden parting. *ot much has changed in that regard, whether we're talking about the 8ictorian era +"obert #rowning's heyday or now. 1n a lot of ways then, -arting at )orning is one of those universal poems that's (ust as timeless as the romantic love it takes for its sub(ect. 0hat sudden (olt of awareness that the sun is shining and you've got things to do doesn't mean that the romantic night you spent with your special someone wasn't, well, special. 1t (ust means that, hey, we've got todo lists to do, and errands to run. 1n fact, it's good to stretch those arms, take a look around, and embrace the world and all it's
responsibilities with that newfound feeling of swooniness you've (ust e7perienced. 1t's okay to be separate but also unified with the person you love. 1n fact that's kind of the way it's supposed to be, according to our speaker. After all, you can't meet again at night without parting first in the morning.
Meeting at Night Parting at Morning Summary
 9)eeting at *ight: and 9-arting at )orning: are companion poems that are best read as one poem. 0hey were first  published in
 Dramatic Romances and Lyrics
 under the general title 9*ight and )orning,: which suggests that #rowning saw them as part of a natural, inevitable cycle. When the poems first appeared, they were critici;ed as being immoral because they describe lovers rende;vousing for a night of passion, then going their separate ways. 4arly critics worried that the man and woman, because of the clandestine nature of the tryst, are not married. 1n any event, there is much of #rowning in this poem, for, like its lovers, 4li;abeth #arrett and he had to meet secretly. Although early critics debated the poems< use of pronouns, #rowning said that in both poems the man/the 9me: of 9-arting at )orning,: line =/is speaking, detailing his night with his lover. 0he real strength of the poems is #rowning<s mastery of imagery. 4very line in both poems employs some specific image in an attempt to stimulate a  particular sense. #rowning<s sub(ect is a favorite, love between men and women, but only a close e7amination of the imagery reveals the e7act nature of that love. What #rowning meticulously communicates in these poems is the physical nature of love. 0he images constantly refer to the senses of smell, taste, touch, and hearing, as well as sensations of heat, light, and kinesthesia. #rowning<s artistry lies in his indirection. *ever does the speaker  say that their relationship is deeply se7ual> he implies it. 0he description of the (ourney becomes a sort of emotional topography. 2ife apart for the lovers is like the land, black andgray with only a little light. 0hey are each halves of the moon. Yet as he gets closer to the woman, his senses come alive, even commingle6 the 9warm seascented beach: +line  appeals to three senses simultaneously. When they  (oin, like the boat<s prow in the 9slushy sand: +line @, there is a sudden spurt of love. While he communicates the emotions of the ecstatic moment, #rowning also suggests that they are fleeting, like the night, and inevitably the male must return to the 9world of men: +9-arting at )orning,: line =. #rowning said that the first poem argues that 9raptures are selfsufficient and enduring,: while the second contends 9how fleeting: is that belief.   After that awesome night, the speaker  suddenly finds himself rounding a cape and seeing the sea sprawled out  before him. 0he sun looks over the mountain's rim and pro(ects a beaming path of gold. #etween the sun shining and the path of gold, the speaker reali;es he needs the world of men at that moment and it's time to get down to business, so to speak. 
Lines 1-2
 Round the cape of a sudden came the sea,  And the sun looked over the mountain's rim:
2ine $ picks up where )eeting at *ight left off with the speaker  taking a stroll along the coast as the sun's rising and peeking over the mountains. 0he speaker has (ust left his lover after that awesome night, and now he's alone with nature's landscape and his thoughts.
 *otice how we're struck by the suddenness of morning (ust like the speaker is here. 0he synta7 in round the cape of a sudden makes that sudden and kind of startling surprise of morning even more pronounced. 1t's as if we're rounding a corner and suddenly we're struck by the appearance of the sea.
4ven the sun in line B appears as if it's assessing the new day that's rising. 0he sun's checking out what's happening over the mountain's rim/kind of like a person who would check out his surroundings after rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
We have some  personification in line B as well. 1t's making that sun appear like a person checking out his surroundings.
 *otice how the speaker is also blending nature's landscape with his own sudden revelation. 1t's like we can't distinguish the speaker from nature since the two seem to be doing the same thing in these lines6 rising and checking out the new day.
0he alliteration in
 sudden, sea
 also helps to connect the different elements of nature. 4ven though the sea is uite different from the sun, the repeated 3 sound makes them both sound more similar than we thought.
0he updown rhythm of the short syllables in these lines also makes the morning's suddenness all the more noticeable. 0he speaker isn't wasting any time with words like
cape, sudden, sun, sea
. Hear all of those short syllables? Check out 3ound Check  for more on these patterns.
Lines 3-
 And straight was a path of gold for him,  And the need of a world of men for me.
#y the last two lines, the speaker lets us know that both he and the sun are ready for the new day. 0he sun is pro(ecting a path of gold while the speaker is setting out for the outside world. 3o both are headed toward their own path for the day.
 *otice how the speaker is using him as a pronoun for the sun. 0he sun is often personified as a male, going all the way back to Dreek mythology. Apollo, for instance, is a god that's typically associated with the sun.
3o again we see the speaker blending himself in with nature, as if he and the sun are one and the same in these lines.
0he world of men in line = isn't referring to that old eighties song, 1t's "aining )en or anything. Here it simply refers to the outside world with other people, work, responsibilities, etc.
#ut why is the speaker in dire need of a world of men? )aybe we're meant to consider the necessity of individuality in terms of love. 1t can't be all about feeling unified with the one he loves. He also has his own responsibilities and his own life to account for, hence his pressing need for that outside world.
0he path of gold in line E is also synonymous with a world of men in terms of work, responsibilities, reward, etc. 3o the speaker isn't (ust blending himself in with nature, he's also using nature to reflect the world of men with his use of figurative language.
Check out the rhyme scheme we have in the poem6 A##A +no, not the band. 3ea rhymes with me and rim rhymes with him, so these perfect rhymes also make the speaker appear as if he's part of the landscape. Check out Form and )eter  for more.
0he  parallelism in these lines also creates a kind of symmetry between the speaker and the sun.We see a similar use of synta7, which begins each line with And.
3o even though the speaker is working with only a few lines here, we notice that he's very careful in the way he structures the lines to ensure his intended effect. #etween his use of synta7, rhyme, parallelism, and personification, we get that the speaker is trying to show us that man is part of the natural world but must also walk his own path.
0he individuality we see stressed here runs parallel to the unification we see in )eeting at  *ight. As a pair, both poems really capture the union and separation of love and relationships. 2overs meet, they  part, and then meet again, kind of how nature works in terms of day, night, and the union of it all. 4ven though day is separate from night, you can't have one without the other so they're always unified in the natural world.
 A Meeting at ight' is a love poem !y Ro!ert "rowning that  contains much more than one might e#pect. $t is e#pressive, descriptive, and carefully worded. $n this lesson, we will learn a!out this poem's !ackground, understand its meaning, and discover how "rowning used sensory details, imagery, sym!olism, rhyme scheme, and iam!ic tetrameter to create such a poetic scene.
!ac"ground In#ormation
"obert#rowning wrote 'A )eeting At *ight' in $%=I while he was courting 4li;abeth #arrett. 0he two e7changedmany love letters and secretly eloped in $%=@, despite her father's protests. #rowning's urgent lovefor 4li;abeth is clearly e7pressed in this poem, and it is considered the most sensual poem that he had written up to that point. As you read it, notice how he uses your senses of sight, smell, sound, and touch to help convey his passion and e7citement as he travels by boat during the night to secretly see his beloved.
%he gray sea and the long !lack land&  And the yellow halfmoon large and low:  And the startled little waves that leap  $n fiery ringlets from their sleep,  As $ gain the cove with pushing prow,  And (uench its speed i' the slushy sand.
%hen a mile of warm seascented !each& %hree fields to cross till a farm appears&
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