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Poetry Archives > Fra Lippo Lippi - Robert Browning

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message 1: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 191 comments We will be discussing this poem February 12 - February 18.

message 2: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 191 comments You can find "Fra Lippo Lippi" here:

message 3: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 191 comments So far this month in our Browning reads, we have been introduced to a jealous murderer, a hateful monk, and an imaginative musician hooked on the past. What do we think of Fra Lippo Lippi? What is his tone in this poem, as compared or contrasted with the other speakers we've read? What are his sins? Do you sympathize with him, especially concerning his upbringing? Is he a reliable speaker?

message 4: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Moran | 191 comments At least the Fra was not a murderer. For a monk, he is a bit too libidinous. One source I consulted on this poem, says that the Fra was drunk. Did you guys get this impression?

message 5: by Judy (new)

Judy (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejudyg) | 43 comments Yes, I think he's drunk, and much too interested in sex for a monk - but as he points out, the monastic order caught him young:

You should not take a fellow eight years old
And make him swear to never kiss the girls.

I think he is much more sympathetic than the speakers in the other monologues - his view of art fits with Browning's, serving up life with all the contradictions of reality, people laughing in the background etc rather than toning it down and making it all ideal.

Interesting just how many artists and works of art there are in Browning!

Sorry not to have commented on these poems earlier, I've been busy, but I did love rereading them.

message 6: by Clarissa (new)

Clarissa (clariann) | 527 comments I am late to these poems too, but they're so fascinating, I want to read more.

I thought the major theme was about the conflict of an artist, producing what other people want to see contrasted with the idea of producing the 'art' of your soul. It is a perfect mirror to 'Andrea del Sarto' as the artist here seems happy, and sneaks his own vision into what the monks instruct him to paint.

There is also the hypocrisy of the 'good fat father' lecturing the starving eight year old child, and the child in turn agreeing to renounce the world in order to get bread so he can survive.

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