Robert Browning's Poem "Abt Vogler" Book Review by Dodson

Robert Browning's Poem "Abt Vogler"
This paper discusses, stanza by stanza, Robert Browning's poem "Abt Vogler" in which he expresses the way the imperfect art of music acts as a symbol for man's life.
# 94902 | 1,325 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2007 | US
Published on May 10, 2007 in Literature (English) , Literature (Poetry) , English (Analysis)

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This paper explains that Robert Browning, one of the most prevalent poets of the Victorian period that was characterized by the search for self-definition, mastered the art of the dramatic monologue and used that style of poetry to convey themes to his readers through the personalities about whom he wrote. The author points out that, in the poem "Abt Vogler", Browning expressed the way the short-lived, imperfect art of music acts as a symbol for man's life--flawed and always seeking resolution. The paper relates that the opening stanza introduced the protagonist Vogler, who was contemplating whether his newly improved organ will be a structure that will be able to brave the varieties of music that he will "build".

From the Paper:

"As the poem resolves toward the end, Browning uses his poem to express the importance for man to reach to his full potential. This idea, as also expressed in Browning's "Andrea del Sarto", is the main initiative in "Abt Vogler". As man does when he struggles to grasp his full potential, Vogler asks, "Therefore to whom turn I but to thee, the ineffable Name?" Thinking that he may never be able to play such music ever again, Vogler's faith in music suddenly returns when he prays to God. He says, "There shall never be one lost good! What was, shall live as / before...""

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Browning, Robert. "Abt Vogler." Robert Browning The Major Works. Adam Roberts. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005
  • Ridenour, George. "Browning's Music Poems." Browning's Mind and Art. Clarence Tracy. New York: Barnes & Noble, 1970
  • Hollander, John. "Robert Browning; The Music of Music." Robert Browning: A Collection of Critical Essays. Harold Bloom and Adrenne Munich. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, 1979

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