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How do Blake and Wordsworth respond to nature in their poetry and what other influences effect their work.

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Introduction

How do Blake and Wordsworth respond to nature in their poetry and what other influences effect their work. The "Romantic" period was an age of revolution. It produced some of the most important, beautiful, and challenging poems in the English language. Fantasy, imagination, and the supernatural contended with the rise of scientific understanding. "Rights" of individuals were asserted against the state, and social movements such as the French Revolution took place. The era of British Romantic literature around 1780-1830 faced many challenges for supremacy in human nature and the social political arena. Poetry during this era saw experiments with form and language, and developed an emotional sensibility. This period also witnessed some great composition by 'William Blake' and 'William Wordsworth'. A number of events during this period influenced the 'Romantic Poets'. The most notable being, the French revolution that was to do with 'self-determination'. This characteristic is apparent in the poems of Blake and Wordsworth. Works such as 'London' by Blake and 'Composed upon Westminster Bridge' best illustrate this point. The poems below all have a relationship with either youth or innocence. Various poets such as William Blake and William Wordsworth have written these poems from their own perspective. The 'Nurse's Song', written by William Blake is about na�vet� and one in which Blake relates nature to the innocence of children. He describes children as perfect, uncorrupted being. This poem is set in the countryside as the day draws to an end at sundown. 'Voices of children are heard on the green and laughing is heard on the hill'. The children are seen to be taking pleasure in themselves amongst the beautiful surroundings of Mother Nature, enjoying their childhood oblivious to the problems in the world. ...read more.

Middle

It is also about the effects that negativity can have on love. During his pleasured times in his childhood he use to enjoy the beauty of nature while playing on the green. But when he returned to that memorable site 'A chapel was built in the midst'. Blake has used religion to convey the idea that negativity pervades and corrupts all life. Blake, himself despised the Church, as an institution rather than an idea, and used religious symbols to show how structured religion can destroy the love and creator within. 'The gates of this chapel were shut.' In inspecting the chapel, the person feels only negativity from a religious house, as the gates are shut 'And Thou shalt not writ over the door'. Not only has man and machine invaded this place once full of life, but they have also brought with them negative commandments. Blake uses words that exude life and breath, such as 'green, love, bore,' and 'sweet flowers.' These are all positive images that support the individual's search for creativity and love within the natural environment. When he faced towards the place where the land was filled with 'sweet flowers bore' now had a completely different look. It was now filled with 'graves and tomb-stones where flowers should be.' The gates are kept shut to keep out evil and poor people, and replacing the Garden of Love with a garden of death by substituting tombstones for flowers. Blake uses words that imply darkness and negativity, such as 'new building, gates, graves, black gowns, and briars.' 'Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds, And binding with briars, my joys & desires'. The images of innocence and life that introduced the person finds her place of refuge overgrown with darkness and infected with limitations. ...read more.

Conclusion

The word 'majesty' portrays 'This City' as anointed by God to represent his kingdom on Earth. Dead in spirit would one be if he or she was not moved or appreciated by its beauty. He makes one visualize that mighty scene so perfect, that it encompasses you. 'All bright and glittering in the smokeless air'. From reading this poem, one can feel nothing but tranquil, picturing yourself there, looking at 'the beauty of the morning' quiet, 'asleep,' and 'bare.' The word 'lie' at the end of the sixth line conveys that the 'ships, towers, domes, theaters, and temples' seem to recline and are conscious of their marvel. He incorporates nature into the scene with the line, 'Open unto the fields, and the sky.' In a city, one of the last things a reader would think about would be trees, plants and brush. He sets a very peaceful tone demonstrating nature co-existing with man. Wordsworth is so overcome by this perfection, that he cries out to God - thanking and praising Him for allowing him to be a witness to such a sight. The river is moving at its own pace - not being forced nor stopped. The 'houses,' where the inhabitants live, the life in the city, seem to be suspended in time. Wordsworth's ending simply reinforces the stillness, silence and the angelic perfection of London at morning sunrise. The poem 'London' illustrated by William Blake has a entirely opposite view on London as it was written while witnessed in the streets unlike Wordsworth's poem which was written from a far distance. While 'I wandered' in Wordsworth's poem is set in the past tense, implying a division between past and present, 'London' begins with the verb set in the present tense. ...read more.

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