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Nature In Romantic Poetry

Among the many great romantic poets, William Wordsworth is one of those who has received the most appraisal for his works. A man beyond the limitations of his time, he created a powerful poetry about the nature where he glorified it and emphasized on the importance of sticking to the natural way of living. Wordsworth’s poetry shows that in the dialogue between the man and the nature, the man has always to follow the latter which brings comfort and calmness. In case the people lose their connections with the nature, they lose an important part of themselves as well as miss out the amazing spiritual journey the nature uncovers.

The nature is a common theme for many romantic poets who viewed it as a source of inspiration. While reading the examples from other authors, it is easy to find the many works they devoted to the environment and the natural occurrences around them. However, each poet selects a unique approach that defines one’s view on the nature and its connection to the people. For Wordsworth, unlike his many contemporaries, the nature is the source of peace that calms the attitude and provides him with an ability to relax and create. According to John Beer, the poet even considered himself the preacher of the nature who valued it highly. It is powerful and appealing, and the author glorifies everything before him that has not been changed by the people. When it comes to setting the communication of the nature with the people, the poet suggests following the nature’s flow and not trying to change it. For him, living in harmony with the nature is the ideal way of existing, and he is critical of the people who lose their connections with the nature and become urban.

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For Wordsworth, the nature is a source of various feelings and emotions that inspire the people, and only those who appreciate and love everything that has been created before them are able to develop love for the people around. The poem “Prelude” shows how a person should approach the nature: as if it was the ultimate source of love, and losing it would be the loss of one’s emotional capacities. According to the researcher Faria Saeed Khan, “The Prelude sets in contrast the urban and the rustic societies. Wordsworth extols rustic life and praises the rustics’ wisdom and kindness”. For him, there is a clear difference between living an urban life which is torn from the nature, and living a simple life in the village which connects the person with fundamental things and is much more valuable in the first place. In the poem, the “narrator brings a poor ill soldier to a cottage instead of an estate for help” because this is the place to rest and grow strong since it is closer to nature and distant to artificial things the people have created in spite of the natural flow of life. Therefore, the poet sends a clear message to his readers; he shows that a man of his time has to stay with the nature and within its influence. Otherwise, he will be lost and deprived of the real beauty and feelings. As Khan states, “The Industrial Revolution affected man’s conception of his relationship with man and nature”, so the poet “criticizes the absolute, tyrannical power of the French and the English elite classes and rallies against the destructive potentials of the modern economy which disturbed the equilibrium in the society and polluted the environment of the country”. Therefore, in case the conflict arises between the man and the nature, the poet will stay on the side of the latter.

According to the researcher Andrew Hubbell, Wordsworth’s nature glorification created the high standards for describing the environment, and the many poets after him could not live up to the poetic description the author has set for the natural things. The poet has many works that speak about the nature and the effects of losing the ties with it. For instance, in the poem “London, 1802”, he talks about the topic of selfishness which comes as a result of living an artificial life and not relying on the nature. The society harms the people to the point they are not able to have the dialogue with the nature; and it is a great issue of the society then and nowadays. In a poem “The World is Too Much with Us”, the author focuses on the similar theme and speaks of people being affected by the social order which prevents them from cherishing and glorifying the natural state of things and the beauty around them that was not yet affected by the people’s intrusion. In this situation, the nature is an alternative to the cities Wordsworth despises; he does not want to be a part of them as he sees them as fakes that cause problems and change the natural way of living. People change and degrade in the cities while the nature prevents them from becoming like that and provides with an emotional relief.

Thus, Wordsworth was similar to his contemporaries due to the focus on the nature as a powerful source for writing poetry. However, many of the romantic poets viewed nature from the different perspective. They saw many threatening or mysterious things in it which affected its portrayal in their works; therefore, the nature was often seen as a source of mystery or something dangerous that contained many secrets and dangers for the people. Unlike them, Wordsworth does not see anything negative or threatening when he approaches the nature; for him, it is something that the people have to seek and embrace. For him, the nature carries a great impact on the people because it intensifies their feelings and makes them think. While people are around the nature, they can question the mores and flows of the society, but they lose this ability whenever they are torn from the natural environment. For the poet, the nature lifts the people, and whenever they find time to enjoy and experience it, they get inspired and energized to create something beautiful and worthy. It is a source of development that leads the people toward the psychological growth and greater mind skills; and it is a source of understanding the other people. Therefore, people who connect with the nature can build strong relations with the others and establish themselves in society; and people who do not communicate with the nature lose their communication skills in general.

Thus, the poetry of Wordsworth is an anthem to the nature that glorifies its positive effect on the people and encourages them to keep close ties with it. The poems show that in case the people want to lead full lives and develop constantly, they have to cherish the nature and the many lessons it teaches them.  

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