WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, RIASSUNTO
William Wordsworth was born in 1770 in Cocker mouth.He spent all his childhood in a green area of England on the Scottish borders near Lake District. For this the harmony with nature is essential in all his poems. In 1790, after the education at St. Jones College in Cambridge he went to a walking tour in France. It is the period of the effect of the French Revolution in England. Wordsworth loved the values of this revolution ‘cause he hoped in a society that was based on social order.
At first he expressed his strong enthusiasm: a new society was what he hoped, but when France turned into a tyranny he had a nervous breakdown that he solved just coming back to Lake District where he had the possibility to recover thanks to his sister Dorothy. Only in contact with nature he solved his physical problems.
The most important subjects in Wordsworth’s poetry are people living in contact with nature, humble pleasant people. A big part of his life was full of images of death, and his first interest seemed to dry up. After wondering, Wordsworth completely decided to live forever in the Lake District.
Wordsworth’s poetry is based on nature. He is often criticized to be the priest of nature.
- A source of inspiration: Wordsworth didn’t depend on his description of places, but tried to describe his relationship with nature. Nature is not a power external to men: we are part of it and it can inspire our best feelings and poems.
- As the countryside: is the place: rural scenes are generally silent and solitary but not desolate. It is a source of great pleasure for men. Large use of senses (smell, colours, precise descriptions, sounds…)
- As a life force: Wordsworth was attracted by the countryside. It is essential the aspect of nature as a life force and the intimate relation between the nature and the human consciousness, an interaction between men and nature that can’t be separated. Men can learn the elementary feelings of love, joy, friendship in nature. Nature is a moral teacher.
For example, in “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge” the city of London is seen in a silent morning as if they were in nature. Nature is a life force because God is in it and can’t be separated from it. (Pantheism)
Nature is like a guide, can guide men to the spiritual and moral layers. It is ONLY nature that has got the capability to elevate men to a spiritual dimension.
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH 1770-1850
The symbol of the Child is very important, too. The child is the father to men for his capability of memory. The Child builds his future for his capability to remember, and he is closer to nature and his original state of harmony more than adults. Child is like humble people.
The Romantic Manifesto
The preface is very important. In this part are explained:
- The choice of ordinary subjects and ordinary language to create a “democratic” way of poetry accessible to all men. This means a revolt against the past, against reason in favour of feelings and emotions. The use of ordinary language, ordinary subjects, humble people is useful to understand how the poet tried to give a veil of novelty to everyday things.
- The poet is a man speaking to men. This refers to the 1st generation of poets. An ordinary man who has got the capability to communicate using imagination. The role of imagination is to modify the objects observed. It has the capability to color the things observed, to give a feeling of novelty to the things observed. The poet has the capability to observe using the eyes of the soul and this is the biggest difference from other men.