The Romantic era was a notable era of English literature. William Wordsworth (1770-1850) along with his friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge launched the romantic movement. Wordsworth was born in the lake district of northern England. His works were the most important contribution to the romantic period of English Literature.
Let us know the historical background of the Romantic Period:-
The Romantic Period began roughly around 1798 and lasted until 1837. At the end of the eighteenth century, England and France were engaged in open warfare. It was an era of the extinction of the French Republic and also the destruction of the power of Napoleon.
These wars brought inevitable misery and resentment among the people due to low wages, unemployment, and heavy taxation. The Reform Bill also spread discontent among people.
The romantic period proved to be the fertile period for English Literature. It was a literary movement that emphasized elements like individualism, supernaturalism, imagination, and social conditions.
Now let’s talk about one of the famous poets and the most important contributor of the romantic period- William Wordsworth. William Wordsworth's poems contain a variety of poems featuring his vivid imagination, emphasized nature and natural elements, using simple language, and also dealt with the prevailing social conditions of that time.
Let us talk about some of William Wordsworth’s poems:-
1. I wandered lonely as a cloud-William Wordsworth's poetry characterizes ‘nature’ and this is one such poem where he speaks about how a field of daffodils mesmerized his heart.
2. To my sister- A beautiful portrayal of nature by William Wordsworth where he talks about love between man and earth, spirituality, and also about the immense peace which he and his sister get while walking through the woods.
3. The solitary reaper- William Wordsworth's poetry amazingly applauds nature. In this poem, he talks about a young woman who sings while cutting the grains in a Scottish field. Though Wordsworth fails to understand the language or its meaning, he admires the beauty of its song and praises it in this poem.
4. Ode on intimations of immortality- Childhood memories are the best memories. Wordsworth, in this ode, describes how divine and pure the phase of childhood is. The poetry of Wordsworth urges our deepest emotion by recalling his childhood and the divinity it had.
5. To the Cuckoo- A poem in which Wordsworth describes a carefree cuckoo bird that is free from the materialistic world and enjoys its freedom. This is a beautiful and nostalgic poem and also a mysterious poem where Wordsworth wanders all over in search of the cuckoo bird but is only able to hear its voice and is intangible. I recommend every poem lover to go through this poem.
6. Lines composed in a Tintern abbey- Wordsworth's poetry describes an eye-soothing landscape that has mesmerized his heart. In this dreary life, he finds solace in this beautiful landscape. In this poem, Wordsworth’s description of how ‘nature’ holds an important place in the well-being of the world is noteworthy.
7. My heart leaps up when I behold-This poem is reminiscent of Wordsworth’s childhood days. He adorns the way he looks at a rainbow in the sky and beautifully explains the beauty of the childhood phase. Wordsworth tries to appreciate the joy which we all experience in our childhood in the wonders of the natural world.
8. We are seven- This poem is way too deep. In this poem, Wordsworth compares the innocent perspective of a young child to that of his, on the idea of death. Wordsworth’s poetry has always been my favorite, but this one has just taken away my heart. I recommend each one of you go through this poem at least once in your lifetime.
9. Written in March- It is a poem that will compel you to dive deep into the imagination of scenic beauty. Wordsworth's poetry is known for its vivid imagery which makes the reader understand the essence of nature in one’s life. This poem was written amidst war where ‘change’ was seen everywhere and so, it’s all about change and acceptance.
10. Perfect Woman- Wordsworth, in this poem describes a woman who is perfect in his eyes. Though being a human she has faults but she is perfect and special in his eyes as he admires her a lot. A beautiful love poem that praises a woman for not only her outer beauty but even appreciates her inner qualities and finds beauty and perfection in this.
11. Character of the happy warrior- Appraisal of a warrior or rather a human being who gives importance to his moral being, whose dearest friend is 'reason', who is compassionate towards others and fights back, one who is gentle and keeps the law. Wordsworth declares that this is the only mark of greatness. This poem is in iambic pentameter and is modeled after a great warrior ‘Lord Nelson’. Wordsworth's poetry is vivid in its approach and revolves around a variety of topics.
12. After Thought- Wordsworth's poetry is phenomenal when it comes to comparing humans with nature. Wordsworth here compares the flow of the river to that of human mortality. He compares the flow of the river to that of our limited life span. Though he never complains of it, rather gives the message that our life is short and hence we should make it worth living and even enjoy every moment of it.
13. To a butterfly- Wordsworth addresses a butterfly that reminds him of his past where he and his sister used to chase butterflies. The butterfly reminds him of his childhood and he misses the memories it had. The beautiful part of this poem is that Wordsworth has created an amazing poem just by describing a creature of nature.
14. Lines written in early spring- Wordsworth’s poetry is replete with natural imagery and intense emotions. This poem is all about appreciating the beauty and the significance of nature.
15.Tables Turned-Wordsworth teaching the value that ‘nature’ has to offer to humanity is what the poem is all about. Here, the poet is telling his friend to leave all his books and look at what nature has to offer to him. He insists that ‘nature’ provides more knowledge and experience and therefore humanity should learn from it.
William Wordsworth poems emphasis on the natural world rather than materialistic world. It talks about the joy, peace, knowledge and experience that nature has to offer to humanity. But in this rat race we, human beings, often forget the significance of nature. Wordsworth portrays a fully developed interconnection between human beings and the natural world. Even if you are not into poetry, I recommend every youth to read his poem and understand the value that our mother nature beholds. And I am quite sure you will fall in love with his poems.