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Finding the Romance in Romantic Literature: William Wordsworth as Founding Father of Romantic Poetry

In: English and Literature

Submitted By 0murd
Words 1295
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Although love may occasionally show itself as a muse of Romantic poetry it has very little to do with Romanticism. Romanticism is considered to be an international artistic and philosophical movement that redefined the fundamental ways in which people in Western cultures thought about themselves and about their world.(Brooklyn College) The early Romantic period begins with the first edition of Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth - co-written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. I'm going to specifically refer to three poetic works by Wordsworth when referring to the imagination, nature, and emotion used as components of Romantic Literature: "The Tables Turned", "My Heart Leaps Up", and "I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud."

Imagination was considered to be one of the highest faculties of the mind during the Romantic era. The Romantics used their imaginations as the ultimate shaping tool for their literature. It was their creative power in that it was dynamic, active, and provided many functions for creating all art. Wordsworth suggested that it is also the faculty that helps humans to constitute reality for we not only perceive the world around us, but also in part create it. The Romantics are also extremely concerned with the healing nature of the imagination in that it can reconcile differences and opposites in the world of appearance. It inextricably enables us to "read" nature as a system of symbols. (Brooklyn College)

Wordsworth uses all aspects of the Romantic view of imagination in "The Tables Turned." I am specifically drawn to the healing aspect of the imagination that he is trying to push on the person whom this poem is written for in the first two stanzas. "Up! up! my friend, and quit your books, or surely you'll grow double. Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks; Why all this toil and trouble….

Books! 'tis a dull and endless trifle: Come here...

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