William Wordsworth as a Poet
Wordsworth occupies all eminent place in English literature. He is still unchallenged and unsurpassed. He is well known as a worshipper of Nature, the pioneer of Romantic Revival and as the supreme lyricist. He is the great poet of undying fame. As a poet, he is primarily a poet of Nature. He is utterly human and sings of the human heart, the joy and sorrows of human being.
Wordsworth As the pioneer of romantic revival–
Wordsworth led a revolt against the eighteenth century poetry (the classical school of poetry) both in subject matter and manner. He revived the poetry, of imagination and emotion than that of pure wit of classics. He rebelled against the artificially diction of Pope and his followers. The classical poet imitated for the glory of town, urban or artificial life. Inspite of taking the town poetry of his theme of poetry. Wordsworth turned to the countryside (outdoor world poetry). He refused to abide by artificial rules. He allowed the poet perfect freedom in his choice of subject-mater and the poetic diction. He freed the poet from the bondage of artificiality. He also discarded the Heroic-couplet, the most charming form of the classics. He was the first poet to revive interest in outdoor poetry that is nature.
Wordsworth’s Principles of Poetry–
Wordsworth set forth his principles of poetry. Concerning the subject-matter of poetry he declared. “The Principle object was to choose incidents and situation from common life and to relate them in language really used by common man.” Wordsworth Preferred” humble and rustic life, because he felt that essential passions’ of heart find there a better soil. As far poetic diction Wordsworth remarked, “May purpose was to imitate and as far as possible to adopt the very language of men.”
Wordsworth’s healing power–
Wordsworth poetry is poetry of peace and joy. To lead his poetry is to get solace of heart. His poetry deals with happiness and joy that comes to the company of nature. Wordsworth heals us of the miseries and troubles of the world. John Stuart Mill (the philosopher) said, “what made Wordsworth’s poem a medicine for my state of mind was that they expressed not mere outward beauty but states of feelings under the excitement of beauty.’
Joy in Nature–
Wordsworth finds everlasting happiness in nature. It is still her privilege to lead from joy to joy:
“And all the earth is gay
land and sea
give themselves up to jollity”
Nature gives pleasure in the present, is fills the mind with pleasure for the future.”…but with pleasing thoughts that in this moment, there is life and blood for future years.”
His message is that the worship of Nature will bring infinitive pleasure. Nature is the window to ‘God and all is joy’. His poetry brings a floodtide of happiness.
Revival of Lyricism–
Wordsworth revived lyricism in English poetry. His longer poems like ‘The Prelude‘ and ‘The Excursion’ abound in lyrical outbursts that have seldom been equaled. His lyrics are marked by freshness and spontaneity. Wordsworth brought a freshness and pensive (sad) sweetness to his lyrics, that gave them quite an original place in this form of writing.
William Wordsworth as a narrative poet–
Wordsworth cannot be called as a great narrative poet. However, Michael’ is a fairly successful narrative poem. As Elton says—”Nothing can show the strength and solidarity of the poet’s workmanship better than Michael where the plainer parts are no less dignified than the solemn parts and the effect in final.”
Wordsworth’s attitude towards man-
Wordsworth love of Nature led him to love of man. He respects man as man. In fact what he loved was most common. The heroes of his poems are common men like shepherds, peasants and valley men. He regarded humble and rustic men, who seems to him to be a part of Nature, as honest, frank and lovable. He says, “Love had been found in huts where poor men live. His daily teachers had been woods and hills. The silence that is in the starry sky. The sleep that is among the lonely hills.”
Style of Wordsworth-
His earlier poems are written in extraordinarily simple and lucid style. ‘The Solitary Reaper’ ‘Lucy Poems’ and ‘Michael’ are written in the language that is actually used by men. Wordsworth departs from his own theory of style in some of his great poems like the ‘Intimation Ode.’
Wordsworth is perfectly a poet, the poet who is percipient in the beauty of nature. He is in love with man to respect man an innovator or lyricism and the Romantic Reviver.
English Literature— Important links
- Absalom and Achitophel (John Dryden)- Introduction & Summary
- Explanations of Absalom and Achitophel (Line by line analysis)
- Critical appreciation of “The False Achitophel” by John Dryden
- Dryden as a Satirical Poet
- Poetry of Dryden: As Classical Poet, As Versatile Genius etc.
- Alexander Pope’s poetry- Pope as Satirist, Lyricist, Classicist etc.
- “Essay on Man” by Alexander Pope, Epistles II (Complete Explanation)
- Critical Appreciation of the poem “Nurse’s Song” (By William Blake)
- Nurse’s Song by William Blake | Summary & Complete Explanation
- Life and Work of William Blake- Birth, Education, Poetic Work etc.
- “Tintern Abbey” by Wordsworth- Introduction and summary
- Tintern Abbey- Line by Line Explanation (1 to 10 Context Stanza-wise)
- Tintern Abbey Stanza-wise Explanation (11 to 16 Context)
- Tintern Abbey Summary in Hindi | (कविता का सारांश)
- The World is Too Much With Us- Summary & Stanza-wise Explanation
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