Tintern Abbey, Frost at Midnight and Ode to the West Wind Essay

Tintern Abbey, Frost at Midnight and Ode to the West Wind Essay

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Romanticism was a revolutionary movement which began in English Literature (mainly poetry) around the Eighteenth Century in Western Europe and gained height during the times of the Industrial Revolution. Wordsworth, Byron, Shelley, Keats, Coleridge and Blake were regarded as the ‘Big Six’ of Romanticism. In ‘Tintern Abbey’ by William Wordsworth, ‘Frost at Midnight’ by Samuel Coleridge and ‘ Ode to the West Wind’ by Percy Shelley, we see clearly that nature is the central trigger for the poet’s imagination to take wings and to help each poet to seriously explore his inner world in a meditative manner; the treatment and responses to nature are also similar, despite some individual differences. This is not surprising considering the fact that they were all contemporaries and also showed the same Romantic beliefs about the Nature of Imagination and the Creation of Poetry.

The Romantic poets had a philosophy and a conception on the Creation of Poetry. According to William Wordsworth poetry was ‘a spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, recollected in tranquility.’ This is clearly seen in the poem ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud..’ The poet generally has an experience which has a tremendous impact upon him. Sometime later in the future when he is in a tranquil mood there is an overflow of these emotions due to a trigger and the imagination is given wings. This leads to the creation of Poetry.

The days and times in which these poets lived and their personal lives also had a significant impact upon their works and poems. Wordworth was one of the greatest Romantic poets. He was fed up of the hustle- bustle of city life which he couldn’t cope up with and thus he turned to nature as seen in ‘Tintern Abbey’. He lived during the Frenc...


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... his poem ‘Ode to the West Wind’ the Wind becomes a symbol of poetic faculty spreading his words amongst mankind and is used to represent a force by which he can advocate and propagate his ideas to the world. He wants the wind to scatter his thoughts just as how the wind scatters the leaves and the clouds. The West Wind is portrayed as both a destroyer as well as a preserver. In the last stanza the wind is no longer used as an outside force he is trying to address but in fact the wind becomes a part and extended force within him.

Therefore it can be clearly observed that though nature is the prime subject in all the three pieces of work it has been treated and responded to differently by each individual. The works of poetry are unique in their own forte and have thus stood the tests of time and appeal to us even today in this highly modernized and changed world.

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