Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: Tessa’s Poetry List


I’ll be honest, poetry’s usually not my thing, but I make an exception for Victorian classics — and that’s exactly what you’ll find throughout Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel

"Psyche Entering Cupid's Garden" by John William Waterhouse, a Pre-Raphaelite painter

Each chapter begins with a quote from a poem that would have been familiar to the characters. Since Clockwork Angel is set in late 19th-century London, most of the poems are from that era or were already canon. 

The poems on Tessa’s list mainly fall into three categories: 

  • 1785-1830 The Romantic Period: vivid and colorful language, evocative of elevating themes and ideas
  • 1832-1901 The Victorian Period: spawned the dramatic monologue, concerned with reclaiming the past, especially classical/medieval themes
  • 1848-1860 The Pre-Raphaelites: emphasizes “lush” vowel sounds, description, subjective psychological states, elaborate personification and complex forms

Tessa’s Poetry List

One main exception to the categories above is Elka Cloke’s Thames River Song, which appears at the beginning of Clockwork Angel. It’s a contemporary piece and will be included in Cloke’s upcoming book, Bitter Language (look for a feature in the near future!). Her poem of the same name also appears at the beginning of City of Ashes.

She kindly provided us with the full version of Thames River Song — a Novel Novice exclusive!

Here’s a complete list (with links to the text) of the poems quoted in Clockwork Angel

8 thoughts on “Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: Tessa’s Poetry List

Add yours

  1. I came to read “Thames River Song” but unfortunately it’s not at the other end of the link!
    The other links worked though, so that was interesting. Thank you.

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