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Nature of the Mind

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William Blake, a poet that strongly believed in the power of mind, once wrote, "if we see with imagination, we see all things in the infinite." The Romantic poets use their imagination when gazing at nature, and therefore see and feel the infinite through their poetry. William Wordsworth expresses the serene beauty that nature possesses and its calming effects on the mind. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the poetic geniuses of the age, uses nature and his imagination to create surreal atmospheres. Another Romantic poet, by the name of Percy Bysshe Shelley, shows great longing for the freedom that nature possesses and the freeing effect it has on him. These poets of the Romantic period look at nature from a higher consciousness called the imagination.

William Wordsworth, through many of his poems, expresses the serene beauty contained in nature and its tranquilizing effects on human thoughts. In "Lines Composed a Few Miles from Tintern Abbey", the speaker looks "on nature...to chasten and subdue...the mind" and bring peace to his thoughts. Looking deeply into nature brings the feelings of sublime contentment and new feelings of inspiration that one cannot find in any alternate surrounding. In Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," the speaker, when "in vacant or in pensive mood," recalls a memory of a past picturesque outdoor scene that "is the bliss of [his] solitude." His mind's pencil edges a lasting portrait of a scene in nature and the emotions of its beauty in the speaker's mind. The "dancing daffodils" will stay with the speaker even when the original drawing has faded. Another poem, "Composed upon Westminster Bridge," expresses the lulling atmosphere of the early morning and its encompassing calm a...

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...s are "profuse strains of unpremeditated art," singing exactly what it feels, without restraint. Percy Shelley imagines these feelings of freedom and artless beauty in nature's creations that without imagination would never be conceived.

Through poetry, the Romantics, Wordsworth, Coleridge and Shelley, make many connections between the human mind and its natural surroundings by way of imagination. William Wordsworth emphasizes nature's soothing powers on the mind and its short term and long term effects. Shelley, on the other hand, expresses the boundless life of nature and its ability of uninhibited expression. Samuel Coleridge, the true believer in the mind's versatility, focuses on the flexibility of one's imagination in the presence of nature. Because of these poets and their poetry, the rest of the world is tempted to take a step into the imagination.
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