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Choose two or three Romantic poems on nature.

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Introduction

Choose two or three Romantic poems on nature. In your answer you should refer to at least two poems by the same poet. Analyse the poet's methods and use of language. Make comparisons and draw relationships. Show how the poems refer to their literary tradition. Give a personal response and evaluation. Carla Haughey I have chosen to analyse two Wordsworth poems, "Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" and "The World is Too Much With Us." At one stage in his life, Wordsworth was greatly influenced by William Godwin, a philosopher who claimed that salvation lay only in reason perfected by education. Wordsworth adopted these Neo classic views for four years until he nearly suffered a nervous breakdown. Neo classicist writers believed that poetry had to be "fancier" than prose; they did not think of nature as a teacher as the Romantic writers did, they thought that reason was the prime source of inspiration and emotion was inferior to thought and they thought that poetry should be about people in high society; humble life was contemptuously ignored. After four years Wordsworth turned his back on Neo classicism and turned towards Romanticism. Romanticism was the idea that nature teaches the only important knowledge to man. ...read more.

Middle

The octave of The World is Too Much With Us plays with the idea that we have sold our souls to the material world and in doing so broken our bonds with nature. The sestet offers a solution to the problem, to go back to a less cultured, out of date society, the Pagans, and worship nature. Wordsworth was writing during the Industrial Revolution when society was becoming increasingly reliant upon mass production and there was a growth of towns and cities. These circumstances obviously affected Wordsworth - the majority of Romantic poetry is about nature whereas Composed upon Westminster Bridge is about the beauty of a city in the morning. Wordsworth used simple, everyday language that ordinary man could understand. The title "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" could be a pun; the word "composed" might also represent how the poet is feeling. Wordsworth suggests that people would have no sensibility if they could "pass by/ A sight so touching in its majesty." The words "touching" and "majesty" suggests how powerfully this scene affects him. The words "now doth" seem to suggest that this is a transitory moment of beauty that will soon pass. The simile "This city now doth, like a garment, wear/ The beauty of the morning;" hints that the poem is celebrating the beauty of the morning before man wakes up and pollutes it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Wordsworth would "rather be a Pagan;" he would rather go back to an out of date society to become less cultured but closer to nature. He feels "forlorn" because he is out of tune with nature, he has to reject cultured things and be a Pagan to be truly happy. Proteus and Triton were sea gods in the "outworn" beliefs of Greek mythology. Wordsworth finds it appealing that the Greeks had gods of nature. This shows how they revered and appreciated nature. The poem teaches us that we should be getting back to nature instead of concerning ourselves with material possessions. Both poems address the same aspect of Wordsworth's poetry - that we have become desensitised towards nature and don't stop long enough in our daily lives to appreciate the beauty around us, instead we are concerned with "getting and spending," although they do so in different ways. Like most of Wordsworth's poetry they both comment on man's complex relationship with nature and the world around us. Composed upon Westminster Bridge celebrates the beauty of the morning and how it can make the city of London more beautiful than "valley rock or hill" and how man cannot appreciate this whereas The World is Too Much With Us describes how we "lay waste our powers" and destroy nature. ...read more.

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