Nurses Song – Blake

The Evening Star - Blake

The Garden Of Love – Blake

Frost At Midnight – Coleridge

The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner – Coleridge

This Lime Tree Bower My Prison - Coleridge

Ode On A Grecian Urn – Keats

Ode To A Nightingale – Keats

To Autumn – Keats

The World Is Too Much With Us – Wordsworth

Tintern Abbey – Wordsworth

She Dwelt Among The Untrodden Ways - Wordsworth

Romanticism is not about love or romance, it is a system of attributes relating to poetic and artistic practice from the late 18th century to the 1830’s. In fact the romantic era cannot be pin pointed to a particular century. Instead it is said that Romanticism started around 1789, when the French Revolution had begun, and ended when Queen Victoria took to the throne in 1836. Romanticism was a reaction against poetry of the previous period. 18th Century poetry was, amongst other things, harmonious, graceful and balanced. Romantic poetry was a revolution and an innovation. Wordsworth stated that it was the ‘real language of men’. There are six key figures on Romanticism; the first generation consisted of William Blake, William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The second generation, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and John Keats.

As there would be in many different eras and periods, there are certain characteristics of Romantic Poetry, although not all of them would be found in a single poets work. Nature was dramatic and seen by most poets as inspiring. There was often a use of feeling; Wordsworth felt that poetry was “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling”. Other characteristics included the supernatural and a concern with the unexplainable. Coleridge’s “The Ancient Mariner” is a good example of this. Connected to the supernatural, the Romantic poets were also interested in dreams and the altered state, with the mystical and spiritual concept of an ultimate being manifested in Nature, “Frost at Midnight” by Coleridge. They also looked at the selfhood and individuality; it is felt that many poems contain the poets’ thoughts and feelings. Keats “Ode to a Nightingale” is a good example as it is known that he wrote this after his brother’s death.

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Nature meant many things to the Romantics; different perspectives included seeing nature as a healing power, nature as a source of subject and image and nature as a safe haven from the artificial constructs of the world. At the same time, they paid great attention to describing these natural phenomena’s accurately and this can be found not just in romantic poetry, but in any aspect of literature and even landscape painting. Romantic nature poetry is essentially poetry of meditation.

Blake did not worship nature like other poets such as Wordsworth, but nature did feature in many of ...

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