Romantic Connections between Nature and Humanity

1081 Words5 Pages
The Romantic Period is known as a transformative era that brought forth fresh perspectives and unique ways of thinking, flourishing through the 1800s. As a reaction to the Age of Enlightenment that hailed scientific reason and logic in Europe, Romanticism instead celebrated man’s ability to feel and express various emotions, praising aesthetics over rationality. In the preface of The Penguin Book of Romantic Poetry, this period’s focus is defined as the “valuing of emotion, of imagination, a belief in human potential taken beyond its ordinary limits” (xxiii). The artists of this period often explored their imaginations, depicting new ways of perceiving the world around them through their various forms of art. Romantic poets were famous for sharing common themes throughout their poetry. Many of these poems drew parallels regarding extensive outdoor landscapes and the individuals that inhabited these settings. The Romantic poets used vivid imagery and imagination to describe certain elements of nature and the impact these elements had on the human mind. In John Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale”, the speaker of the poem recalls the sublime experience he has listening to the song of the nightingale, creating a unique connection between not only him and the bird, but him and his environment. The poem itself begins with the narrator mulling over his dismal being until he hears the song of a “light-winged Dyrad of the trees” (line 7). At that point, the tone of the poem changes from somber to lively, the narrator now fully immersed into the song he hears. The speaker’s state of mind has now changed as well within the poem: “That I might drink, and leave the world unseen, / And with thee fade away into the forest dim” (lines 20-21). Here, we see the narrator being so moved by the song of the nightingale that he is momentarily put in an altered state of reality by his mind. This

More about Romantic Connections between Nature and Humanity

Open Document