Essay on Depictions of the Literary Sublime

Essay on Depictions of the Literary Sublime

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The representation of sublimity in William Wordsworth’s “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” Percy Shelley’s “To a Sky-Lark,” and Gerald Hopkins “As Kingfishers Catch Fire” is characterized by the beauty and forms of nature, the power of nature, and the use of metaphors in descriptive passages. They use the sublime to express the grandeur of nature and to describe specific objects of nature. The writers also employ the sublime as a way to communicate their imagination and interpretations of nature to the readers.
Wordsworth, Shelley, and Hopkins use the sublime in their literary works to interpret and express the aesthetics of nature. Wordsworth expresses the sublime beauty and forms of nature in “I wandered lonely as a cloud” by illustrating the nature scene using daffodils, clouds, stars, and waves. His personification of the daffodils, “Tossing their heads in sprightly dance,” (Wordsworth 12) distinguishes them from being just a simple organic plant to a vivid being that possesses an inner life. His personification of the daffodils creates a vibrant and beautiful illustration.
Shelley uses a sky-lark in his poem“To a Sky-Lark” to express the sublime beauty and forms of nature. The beauty of nature is developed from Shelley’s sublime imagination of the sky-lark’s song. He notes the beauty of the sky-lark’s song by implying that even rainbow clouds are not as beautiful as the melodies of the sky-lark’s song, “From rainbow clouds there flow not” (Shelley 33). Shelley relates the bird’s emotional state to the beauty of nature by regarding the happiness of the bird when the bird soars through the sky. He implies that the beauty and forms of nature contributes to the bird’s happiness, “What objects are the fountains /Of thy happy ...

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...n limbs, and lovely in eyes not his” (Hopkins 12-13).
Wordsworth, Shelley, and Hopkins express their gratitude for the sublime of the natural world in their literary works. To accurately portray the sublime in their works, Wordsworth, Shelley, and Hopkins selected suitable words and proper arrangements of their language. Their use of striking and beautiful words contributed to the overall sublimity of their poems. Also, their figurative language possessed great natural power, which helped to give their metaphors solid meanings. The poets referred to things that they considered interesting, such as the kingfisher, sky-lark, and daffodils to express their literary sublime. Their literary sublime is important because it helps the readers to visualize the scenes and understand the message of the poem, which also helps the readers to benefit from or enjoy the poem.

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