The Romantic Poets: And The Role Of Nature

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The Romantic Poets: And The Role Of Nature

The Romantic Poets: and the role of Nature
Craig Williamson
The poetry of the English Romantic period (1800-1832), often contain many descriptions, and ideas of nature, not found in most writing. The Romantic poets share several charecteristics in common, certainly one of the most significant of these is their respective views on nature.Which seems to range from a more spiritual, if not pantheistic view, as seen in the works of William Wordsworth, to the much more realistic outlook of John Keats. All of these authors discuss, in varrying degreess, the role of nature in acquiring meaningful insight into the human condition. These writers all make appeals to nature as if it were some kind of living entity calls are made for nature to rescue the struggling writer, and carry his ideas to the world. One writer stated in his introduction to a Romantic anthology:
The variety of this catalogue implies completedness;
surely not phase or feature of the outer natural world
is without its appropriate counterpart in the inner world
of human personality. Nature, then, can be all things to
all men. To the revolutionary Shelley, the rough wind
wails, like the poet himself, for the world's wrong; or it
lifts his own thoughts to scatter them like leaves, like
glowing ashes, over the world in an apocalyptic prophecy
of the coming Utopian spring. To Keats, beset by longing
and heart-ache, the happiness of the nightingale's song
intensified an unbearable consciousness of unattainable
pleasures. (6)
Nature took a different role in each of the Romantic poets, and even the PreRomantics, and Victorians writings, but each of these writers has that one major thing in common: They all write extensively on the role of nature in the lives of people.
The English Romantic poets, hailing mostly from the Lakeside district of England, would have grown up in a region that is known for its natural beauty. These writers did not know the ugliness of the city, nor do they have any experience of the crowded streets, and polluted air of London. To these writers, the world is a very beautiful place. There are wonderful virgin forests, pristine lakes and rivers, and beautiful wildlife, making this region a wealthy little virtual paradise. Certainly this would (at least partly) account for the facination with the natural world that can be found in these poets. They mostly grew up seeing nature in its highest form of beauty, and they were definately influ...