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William Wordsworth poet of nature

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Wordsworth as a poet of Nature

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William Wordsworth poet of nature

  1. 1. Umm-e-Rooman Yaqoob Roll # 3 B.S (English) 5th Semester “William Wordsworth Poet of Nature” As a poetof Nature,Wordsworthstandssupreme.He isa worshipperof Nature,Nature’sdevotee or high-priest.Hislove of Nature wasprobablytruer,andmore tender,thanthatof any otherEnglishpoet, before orsince.Nature comestooccupy inhispoema separate orindependentstatusandisnot treatedina casual or passingmannerasby poetsbefore him.Wordsworthhadafull-fledged philosophy,anewandoriginal viewof Nature. Three pointsinhiscreedof Nature may be noted: (a) He conceivedof Nature asa livingPersonality.He believedthatthere isadivine spiritpervadingall the objectsof Nature.Thisbelief inadivine spiritpervadingall the objectsof Nature maybe termedas mystical Pantheismandisfullyexpressedin Tintern Abbey andinseveral passagesinBookIIof The Prelude. (b) Wordsworthbelievedthatthe companyof Nature givesjoytothe human heartand he lookedupon Nature as exercisingahealinginfluence onsorrow-strickenhearts. (c) Above all,Wordsworthemphasizedthe moral influenceof Nature.He spiritualisedNature and regardedheras a great moral teacher,as the bestmother,guardianand nurse of man,and as an elevatinginfluence.He believedthatbetweenmanandNature there ismutual consciousness,spiritual communionor‘mysticintercourse’.He initiateshisreadersintothe secretof the soul’scommunionwith Nature.Accordingtohim,humanbeingswhogrow up inthe lapof Nature are perfectineveryrespect. Wordsworthbelievedthatwe canlearnmore of man and of moral evil andgoodfromNature than from all the philosophies.Inhiseyes,“Nature isateacherwhose wisdomwe canlearn,andwithoutwhich any humanlife isvainandincomplete.”He believedinthe educationof manbyNature.Inthishe was somewhatinfluencedbyRousseau.Thisinter-relationof Nature andmanisveryimportantin consideringWordsworth’sviewof both. Cazamiansaysthat “To Wordsworth,Nature appearsasa formative influence superiortoanyother,the educatorof sensesandmindalike,the sowerinourheartsof the deep-ladenseedsof ourfeelingsand beliefs.Itspeakstothe childinthe fleetingemotionsof earlyyears,andstirsthe youngpoetto an ecstasy,the glowof whichilluminatesall hisworkanddiesof hislife.”. Development of His Love for Nature:
  2. 2. Wordsworth’schildhoodhadbeenspentinNature’slap.A nurse bothsternandkindly,she hadplanted seedsof sympathy andunder-standinginthatgrowingmind.Natural sceneslike the grassyDerwent riverbankor the monstershape of the night-shroudedmountainplayeda“needful part”inthe developmentof hismind.In The Prelude, he recordsdozensof these natural scenes,notforthemselves but forwhat hismindcouldlearnthrough. Nature was“both lawand impulse”;andinearthand heaven,inglade andbower,Wordsworthwas consciousof a spiritwhichkindledandrestrained.Inavarietyof excitingways,whichhe didnot understand,Nature intrudeduponhisescapadesandpastimes,evenwhenhe wasindoors,speaking “memorable things”.He hadnotsoughther; neitherwashe intellectuallyaware of herpresence.She rivetedhisattentionbystirringupsensationsof fearorjoywhichwere “organic”,affectinghimbodilyas well asemotionally.Withtime the sensationswere fixedindeliblyinhismemory.All the instancesin BookI ofThe Preludeshowa kindof primitive animismatwork”;the emotionsandpsychological disturbancesaffectexternal scenesinsuchaway that Nature seemstonurture “bybeautyand by fear”. In Tintern Abbey,Wordsworthtracesthe developmentof hislove forNature.InhisboyhoodNature was simplyaplaygroundforhim.Atthe secondstage he beganto love andseekNature buthe was attracted purelybyitssensuousoraestheticappeal.Finallyhislove forNature acquiredaspiritual andintellectual character, andhe realizedNature’srole asa teacherandeducator. In the ImmortalityOdehe tellsusthat as a boy hislove forNature wasa thoughtlesspassionbutthat whenhe grewup,the objectsof Nature tooka sobercolouringfromhiseyesandgave rise to profound thoughtsinhismindbecause he hadwitnessedthe sufferingsof humanity: To me the meanestflowerthatblowscangive Thoughtsthat do oftenlie toodeepfortears. Spiritual Meaning inNatural Objects: ComptonRickettrightlyobservesthatWordsworthisfarlessconcernedwiththe sensuous manifestationsthanwiththe spiritualsignificance thathe findsunderlyingthese manifestations.Tohim the primrose andthe daffodil are symbolstohimof Nature’smessage toman.A sunrise forhimisnota pageantof colour; itis a momentof spiritual consecration: My heartwasfull;I made novows,but vows Were thenmade for me;boundunknowntome Was given,thatI shouldbe,else sinninggreatly, A dedicatedSpirit. To combine hisspiritual ecstasywithapoeticpresentmentof Nature isthe constantaimof Wordsworth.Itis the source of some of hisgreatestpieces,grandrhapsodiessuchas Tintern Abbey. Nature Descriptions:
  3. 3. Wordsworthissensitivetoeverysubtle change inthe worldabouthim.He can give delicate andsubtle expressiontothe sheersensuousdelightof the world of Nature.He can feel the elementaljoyof Spring: It wasan April morning,fresh and clear The rivulet, delighting in its strength, Ran with a young man’sspeed,and yetthevoice Of waterswhich the river had supplied Was softened down into a vernaltone. He can take an equallykeenpleasure inthe tranquil lake: The calm And dead still waterlay upon my mind Even witha weightof pleasure A brief studyof hispicturesof Nature revealshispeculiarpowerinactualisingsoundanditsconverse, silence. Beingthe poetof the earand of the eye,he isexquisitelyfelicitious.Nootherpoetcouldhave written: A voice so thrilling ne’erwasheard In springtimefromthecuckoo-bird, Breaking the silence of theseas Among thefarthest Hebrides. Unlike mostdescriptivepoetswhoare satisfiedif theyachieve astaticpictorial effect,Wordsworthcan directhiseye andear and touch toconveyingasense of the energyandmovementbehindthe workings of the natural world.“Goingson”was a favourite wordhe appliedtoNature.Buthe isnot interestedin mere Nature description. Conclusion: Wordsworth’sattitude toNature canbe clearlydifferentiatedfromthatof the othergreat poetsof Nature.He didnot preferthe wildandstormyaspectsof Nature like Byron,or the shiftingandchangeful aspectsof Nature and the sceneryof the sea and skylike Shelley,orthe purelysensuousinNature like Keats.It washisspecial characteristictoconcernhimself,notwiththe strange andremote aspectsof the earth,and sky,but Nature inherordinary,familiar,everydaymoods.He didnotrecognize the ugly side of Nature ‘redintooth andclaw’as Tennysondid.Wordsworthstresseduponthe moral influence of Nature andthe needof man’sspiritual discourse withher.

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