William Wordsworth as a Poet of Nature

William Wordsworth as a Poet of Nature

Introduction-

Wordsworth was, undoubtedly, the greatest poets of Nature. To him Nature was an embodiment of the divine spirit. As a poet of Nature Wordsworth stands Supreme. He is ‘A Worshipper of Nature‘, Nature’s devotee or high-priest. Nature is not treated in a casual or passing manner:

Wordsworth pursues Nature in a way different from that of Pope. He believed that man has been punished for not taking interest in Nature. He also tells us the tendency of modern man. One of his sonnets is eloquent of this idea, -“The world is too much with us, Late and soon, Getting and spending. We waste our powers little we see Nature that is ours.”

Wordsworth’s love of nature can be divided into four stages for convenience :

First stage-

He loved the out world appearance of Nature, her grandeur in colour and beauty, her form and other external features. As a faithful lover he described her form, and experienced child-like joy in simply describing the feature of Nature.

The sounding cataract

Haunted me like a passion the fall rock,

The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,

Their colours and forms, were then to me,

An appetite, a feeling and a love;

That had no need for remorter charm.”  -Tintern Abbey

Second stage-

In the second stage of his approach of Nature, Wordsworth begin to feel the presence of a universal spirit in Nature which revealed to him the fact that there is close link between Nature and Humanity.

According to Dobson: at this stage wisdom was born to Wordsworth out of his deep love of Nature her forms and colour on the one hand and on the other hand sad thought of humanity.

The years of maturity brought to Wordsworth thinking mind the ideas of good and evils, of joys and sorrows of life, “The still sad music of Humanity”. The still sad music of humanity which he heard, is an interpretation of the bitter experience of life, which mankind live on earthy. Suffering and misery is the common lot of humanity.

“For I have learned.

To look on nature, not as in the hour of thoughtless youth, but hearing often times. The still sad music of humanity.”

The majority of men are deaf of these voices, just because they are so busy in ‘doing for wealth and have no time to feel the essence of these lines.”

To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears―Immortality Ode.

Third stage-

Wordsworth had not only conceived Nature as alive but also he imagines one living soul. And this is the same he communicated in his poetry. According to the poet, between the mind of Man and Nature there was prearranged harmony which enables Nature of communicate its own thoughts to man and man to reflect upon them.

One birth is but a sleep and a forgetting

The soul that rises with us, our life’s star

Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar. -‘The Immortality Ode

Fourth stage-

This broadening communication with Nature brought him much wealth of moral illustration. The poet philosopher considers it a mission of his life to be a teacher of mankind.

Nature never did betray the heart loved her” ―Tintern Abbey

Many of the smaller poems of Wordsworth were written with the object of teaching to mankind particularly. The fountain’, ‘Two April Mornings.

Main points of Wordsworth treatment of Nature :

  • Wordsworth has complete philosophy of Nature. He conceived Nature as a living personality. In ‘Tintern Abbey the poet feels sublime presence of spirit in Nature.

A motion and a spirit that impels All thinking this, all objects of all thought and rolls through all things.

The guide, the guardian of my heart and soul of all moral being. – Tintern Abbey

  • Next, Wordsworth believed that the company of Nature gives joy to human heart.

The very memory of Nature provides joy to human heart.

“I have owed to them

In hours of weariness, sensation sweet”.

Wordsworth emphasized the moral influence of Nature. He spiritual Nature and regarded her as a great moral teacher, the guide and guardian of all hearts.

“Nature never did betray the heart that love her and further

To me the meanest flower that blows can give

Thoughts that lie too deep for tears.”

Conclusion

To conclude Wordsworth as the poet of Nature, he is undoubtedly the crown of Nature poet. Nature was living personality for him.

English Literature Important links

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