Wordsworth’s poems started the Romantic period by emphasizing feeling, impulse, and subjectivity above rule and quirk. The styles that run through Wordsworth’s poetry, and the language and images he uses to embody those themes, remain remarkably constant throughout, sticking largely to the tenets Wordsworth set out for himself. Wordsworth argues that poetry should be composed in the natural language of typical speech, instead of in the lofty and sophisticated dictions He argues that poetry ought to offer access to the “feelings remembered in serenity”.
Nature plays a crucial role in the creation of Wordsworth’s poetry. Nature acts as Wordsworth’s muse.
Wordsworth was a pantheist, he thought that everything is a symptom of Nature which God existed in Nature. For Wordsworth, Nature served as a thinker, guide, friend and mentor. This has actually plainly been seen in “The Nutting” and “From the Prelude”. In the Nutting, he is bring into play an occurrence which happened during his childhood where he is wonder of the external appearance of nature and wants to ruin it.
As quickly as he performs this gruesome act, he is conquered by a brand-new realisation at the sense of discomfort of his destruction of Nature. There is a sensation of repentance and remorse after he damages the once untouched scene. His consciousness is excited by Nature and he is awakened by the spirituality in the woods.
In his poem From the Prelude, he recalls another youth experience where he steals a boat. As he silently cruises through the water, there is a sense of pride and enjoyment.
However, when he approaches a crag that appeared to stride after him like a living thing, sensation of worry and regret are excited within him. The crag, which is referred to as “substantial” and “black”, frightens him, it is a part of Nature and it was a manifestation of his regret. It seems as if Nature had an ethical and spiritual presence, which was dealing with his mind, teaching him and assisting him, as an instructor would have done.
Nature is treated as an entity in her own right; she has a soul, life and a being of her own in Wordsworth’s poems. Nature is not merely used as a scenic and picturesque background but it has a separate existence of her own. William Wordsworth’s poetry passionately illustrates the natural world as something both very simple and beautiful. To Wordsworth, nature is pristinely beautiful, and it is the only escape from a world that is controlled by a physical reality that has lost touch with the beauty of nature.
In his poem “Daffodils”, Wordsworth encounters a field of daffodils beside a lake. The memory of this incredible scene even years later pleases him and comforts him when he is lonely, bored, or restless. This is shows the power of Nature to give one spiritual sustenance, nourishment and succor even years after you see it, even when one is not in the midst of Nature.
Wordsworth’s poems,” Three years she grew in sun and shower” and “Resolution and Independence” show that the characters he most admired lived their lives in the midst of nature. The poem “Three years she grew….” Is about a young girl, Lucy, who is taken away by Nature. In the poem, Nature says that she will make Lucy a lady exactly like herself. She says that Lucy will be a part of Nature and will be manifested in all its aspects. In the poem, “Resolution and Independence”, Wordsworth has an encounter with a leech-picker who lives his life amidst Nature.
In spite of living in sheer poverty and helplessness, the leech-picker had a cheerful and uncomplaining attitude and seemed to live a very happy life. This is why Wordsworth admired them. In his poem, “A slumber did my spirit steal”, he explains how Lucy has become a part of Nature and has no identity of her own. He talks about how she will live her life among rocks, stones and trees.
Nature is seen as a cosmic force. This is because she gives lives and takes them away as seen in “Three years she grew in sun and shower”. She is both creator and destroyer.
There is a new awakening within Wordsworth in his later poems. He sees Nature from a new angle. In his earlier poems, like “Nutting ” , his attraction to nature is merely physical and he has sensuous desires to make Nature his own. In his later poems he derives spiritual sustenance and succor from Nature like in his poem “Daffodils”.
It is evident that Nature plays an integral role in Wordsworth’s poems. Through his poetry, he aims to teach us to appreciate Nature in her pristine form.