Both Shelley, in "Ode to the West Wind," and Wordsworth, in "Intimations of Immortality," are very similar in their use of nature to describe the life and death of the human spirit. As they both describe nature these two poets use the comparison of how the Earth and all its life is the same as our own human life. I feel that Shelley uses the seasons as a way of portraying the human life during reincarnation. Wordsworth seems to concentrate more on the stages that a person goes through during life. Shelley compares himself to such things as clouds, leaves, and waves. He is writing the poem as if he were an object of the earth, and what it is like to once live and then die only to be reborn. On the other hand, Wordsworth takes images like meadows, fields, and birds and uses them to show what gives him life. Life being what ever a person needs to move on, and with out those objects can't have life. Wordsworth does not compare himself to these things like Shelley, but instead uses them as an example of how he feels about the stages of living. Starting from an infant to a young boy into a man, a man who knows death is coming and can do nothing about it because it's part of life. When a man becomes old and has nothing to look forward to he will always look back, back to what are called the good old days. These days were full of young innocence, and no worries. Wordsworth describes these childhood days by saying that "A single Field which I have looked upon, / Both of them speak of something that is gone: The Pansy at my feet Doth the same tale repeat: Whither is fled the visionary gleam? Where is it now, the glory and the dream?"(190) Another example of how Wordsworth uses nature as a way of dwelling on his past childhood experiences is when he writes "O joy! That in our embers / Is something that doth live, / That nature yet remembers / What was so fugitive!" (192) Here an ember represents our fading years through life and nature is remembering the childhood that has escaped over the years. As far as Wordsworth and his moods go I think he is very touched by nature. I can picture him seeing life and feeling it in every flower, ant, and piece of grass that crosses his path. The emotion he feels is strongly suggested in this line "To me the meanest flower that blows can give / Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears." (193) Not only is this showi... ... middle of paper ... ...d of this poem Shelley asks, "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?" (678) Now I wonder if this is just another line emphasizing rebirth and the similarities between the seasons. Or is Shelley saying this because he is getting the sense that the closer he gets to death the more he questions whether rebirth is real. So after close examination of both these pieces of literature I feel that the differences between these two poets is that Wordsworth looks back on how life was and Shelley wonders what's after death. I would have to say that they're very similar in the way that they use nature as a way of portraying human life. The use of how nature affects them and their love for nature brings me to that conclusion. So what makes these pieces so powerful? Really it's not the reasoning between life and death; it's the comparison of how other living things on Earth that we take for granted are similar to us as a human race. When these two poets look at a flower or a sunset they see more than just a pretty flower or a beautiful sunset they see what life is made up of, which is wonderful at times and ugly at other times. Like the saying goes you can't have good without evil.
While Romantics did seek inspiration in solitude and the grandeur of nature, it is difficult to say whether there is only one Romantic notion of the sublime. It is doubtful that the sublime we encounter in Shelley’s ‘Ode to the West Wind’ is the same as the sublime of ‘Tintern Abbey’. Wordsworth tells us how “… in lonely rooms, and ’mid the din / Of towns and cities” he has received “tranquil restoration” from the memory of nature, and how this has sometimes led to the realization of a gift of “aspect more sublime”, which is a trance-like state, a “classical religious meditation” (Wlecke, 158) in which he can “see into the life of things” (lines 36-49). This seems to be a notion of the sublime that gradually reveals itself through the interaction between the human mind and the objects of its contemplation. Moreover, this philosophical gift is “abundant recompense” (line 89) for something that he has lost – the ability to be moved at a level below that of thought, by the sublime aspect of nature. At the time of his visit five years before, he had been “more like a man ...
In “What lips my lips have kissed, and where, and why?” Edna St. Vincent Millay says that “the summer sang in me” meaning that she was once as bright and lively as the warm summer months. In the winter everyone wants to bundle up and be lazy, but when summer comes along the sunshine tends to take away the limits that the cold once had on us. She uses the metaphor of summer to express the freedom she once felt in her youth, and the winter in contrast to the dull meaningless life she has now. There are many poets that feel a connection with the changing of seasons. In “Odes to the West Wind” Percy Bysshe Shelley describes his hopes and his expectations for the seasons to inspire the world.
By reading Wordsworth, one can gain a better grasp of Whitman through this similarity, which D.J. Moores argues. He states, “Although both poets had an intense distrust of language...they nevertheless believed language, particularly their own poetic language, could be a stimulus of consciousness expansion”(“Gangs” 96). In this way as well as in their mutual use of common language, the influence of Wordsworth on Whitman can be seen in the Romantic influence on the American poet. This idea of expanded consciousness is also much like the sublime, as Wordsworth says in his essay “The Sublime and the Beautiful” that the sublime is when the mind attempts“ to grasp at something towards which it can make approaches but which it is incapable of attaining” (Waldoff 124). Through the language both Whitman and Wordsworth utilize, the sublime is reachable and the consciousness of the reader expands because of it. Thus, one can further see the influence of Wordsworth on
As a result of Wordsworth's many memories of Tintern Abbey, his life appears to be happy. The recollection of Tintern Abbey influences Wordsworth to acts of kindness and love. Likewise, Wordsworth is influenced from the natural surroundings of Tintern Abbey. Bloom said, "The poet loves nature for its own sake alone, and the presence of nature gives beauty to the poets mind…" (Bloom Poetry 409). Nature inspires Wordsworth poetically. Nature gives a landscape of seclusion that implies a deepening of the mood of seclusion in Wordsworth's mind. This helps Wordsworth become inspired in his writings while at the same time he is inspired in his heart (B...
Commanding to be proclaimed upon a mountain-top, “Ode to the West Wind” is crafted with such a structure and style that even the seasoned literary connoisseur is overwhelmed. Boasting a lofty seventy lines, this masterpiece is no piece of cake to digest. Digging deeper into Percy Bysshe Shelley’s 1819 composition, one can see the old cliché “when one door closes, another opens.” This theme is abundant throughout the work and also reaches its prime in the last line of the poem, “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind”.
Wordsworth truly emphasized the influence nature had on human morals and emotion. He spiritualised nature and regarded the environment as a philosophical moral teacher, as a mother and even guardian, as the one true elevating influence that was greater than any other. He believed that between man and Nature there is mutual consciousness and understanding, as well as a spiritual connection. According to him, human beings who grow up in the lap of Nature like he did were the ideal humans, the perfect kind. Above all, Wordsworth emphasized the moral influence of Nature as this pastoral influence. “They are second only to nature, which is "the breath of God." (Wordsworth 221). It was his special characteristic to concern himself, not with the strange and remote aspects of the earth, and sky, but nature in ordinary, familiar, everyday moods.Wordsworth stressed upon the moral influence of Nature and the need of man’s spiritual discourse with it “Great and benign, indeed, must be the power/ Of living nature,” (Wordsworth 167). He did not recognize the scary, hideous side of nature, only its
In "Ode to the West Wind," Shelley implores the West Wind, a powerful force of nature that Shelley identifies with his rapidly-changing reality, to "lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud!" He also expresses his almost-melancholy wish that he could be as
Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" is a lyric poem. The poem addresses the west wind as the powerful force and the speaker asks the west wind to disseminate his words and thoughts throughout the world. The speaker narrates the vicissitude of nature and how the west wind changes the ground, the sky and the ocean. With rich imagination which is the reflection of Shelley's "defence of Poetry," the poet modifies the west wind, being both a destroyer and a preserver, as a symbol of revolution, an impetus of the rejuvenation in both human and natural world. Then, the speakers complains about the circumstances of his life, pleads to accompany with the west wind and states his prophecy about future.
This stanza is dominated by the Christian ideas of being made in God’s image. However, man does not remain in that image. His “birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,” and as his life progresses he moves farther and farther from the glorious ideal he had in childhood. Throughout much of his poetry, Wordsworth asserts that in childhood, one can “see” but is unaware of that ability, whereas in adulthood, one cannot see and is painfully aware of his situation. It is only through conscious thought and reflection that man can begin to find a state similar to his original one. The question, then, is why children, who take nature for granted, are given the opportunity to connect so closely with it. It would appear that the fact that children do not realize what they have is the very reason for their having it. Thus, the losing of that knowledge with age allows man to feel the loss, and forces him to find a solution, just as Wordsworth has done. In stanza ten, he tells the reader that the true essence of humanity is the ability to feel pain and have memories of better times. Through these painful or happy memories, man is able achieve the philosophical state of mind, and in the end to love nature “even more” than he did in youth.
Wordsworth recognizes the connections nature enables humans to construct. The beauty of a “wild secluded scene” (Wordsworth, 1798, line 6) allows the mind to bypass clouded and obscured thinking accompanied with man made environments. “In which the heavy and the weary weight of all this unintelligible world, is lightened,” (Wordsworth, 1798, lines 40-43). Wordsworth observes the clear and comprehensive mindset conceived when individuals are exposed to nature. Wordsworth construes nature as a force, delving further into the depths of humans, bringing forth distinct universal and spiritual perspectives. Wonder and awe in the face of nature is awakened within even the most stubborn of minds. The human spirit becomes at mercy to nature’s splendor.
Through the poems of Blake and Wordsworth, the meaning of nature expands far beyond the earlier century's definition of nature. "The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom." The passion and imagination portrayal manifest this period unquestionably, as the Romantic Era. Nature is a place of solace where the imagination is free to roam. Wordsworth contrasts the material world to the innocent beauty of nature that is easily forgotten, or overlooked due to our insensitivities by our complete devotion to the trivial world. “But yet I know, where’er I go, that there hath passed away a glory from the earth.
To conclude, William Wordsworth uses form and syntax and figurative language to stress on his mental journey, and to symbolize the importance of the beauty and peace of nature. In my opinion, the poet might have written this poem to show his appreciation towards nature. The poem has a happy mood especially when the poet is discussing the daffodils. In this poem the daffodils are characterized as more than flowers, but as humans “fluttering and dancing in the breeze” (line 6). In addition, the poet mentioned himself to be part of nature since nature inspires him to write and think. Therefore, the reason that the poet wrote this poem was to express the feeling of happiness in his mental journey in nature.
In poetry the speaker describes his feelings of what he sees or feels. When Wordsworth wrote he would take everyday occurrences and then compare what was created by that event to man and its affect on him. Wordsworth loved nature for its own sake alone, and the presence of Nature gives beauty to his mind, again only for mind’s sake (Bloom 95). Nature was the teacher and inspirer of a strong and comprehensive love, a deep and purifying joy, and a high and uplifting thought to Wordsworth (Hudson 158). Wordsworth views everything as living. Everything in the world contributes to and sustains life nature in his view.
William Wordsworth has respect and has great admiration for nature. This is quite evident in all three of his poems; the Resolution and Independence, Tintern Abbey and Michael in that, his philosophy on the divinity, immortality and innocence of humans are elucidated in his connection with nature. For Wordsworth, himself, nature has a spirit, a soul of its own, and to know is to experience nature with all of your senses. In all three of his poems there are many references to seeing, hearing and feeling his surroundings. He speaks of hills, the woods, the rivers and streams, and the fields. Wordsworth comprehends, in each of us, that there is a natural resemblance to ourselves and the background of nature.
Shelley does not wish to allow the reader to forget about the atmosphere of the previous stanzas so he continues to use the images of the “the wave, a leaf, [and] a cloud” (l. 48) that existed with the “wind” to now exist with the speaker. Shelley sees himself as one with the “wind”. He knows he cannot do this because it is impossible for someone to disregard all they have learned and enter a new world of innocence. It is noticeable that stanza four sounds like a confession or prayer of the poet. It seems very impersonal as it does not address God. This version of Shelley understands his “closedness in life” (MacEachen.) and the way...