William Wordsworth (1770-1850) - Coggle Diagram
William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Born in in Cumberland in 1770;
in 1791 study at St John’s College,
in 1791 he travelled to Revolutionary France and was fascinated by the Republican movement.
In 1792 he had a daughter, Caroline, from a French
In 1795 he made friends with Samuel Taylor Coleridge,
in the 1797-179;
write Lyrical Ballads;
in 1843 he became the
died on 23 april 1850
the Reign of Terror led him to become estranged to the Republic, and the war between England and France return to England;
in 1795 he moved to Dorset with his sister Dorothy, his most faithful friend.
in 1799 William and Dorothy moved to the Lake District;
he married Mary Hutchinson
and they had 5 children;
Lyrical Ballads (1798);
Lyrical Ballads (2nd edition, 1800); this edition contains the famous ‘Preface’, the Manifesto of English Romanticism;
In his Preface expressed a new concept of poetry as spontaneous feelings expressed in common language.
This was to become one of the most famous documents of literary criticism in English literature.
Poems, in Two Volumes (1807);
The Prelude (1805);
The Excursion (1814).
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
On 15 April 1802 the poet went for a walk with his sister Dorothy.
the two walked in the countryside, they were struck by the view of an immense group of daffodils.
This poem is the reconstruction made by Wordsworth of this experience.
perfect example of Wordsworth's theory that poetry is a recollection in tranquillity, and that his task as a poet is to transform the commonplace into the extraordinary.
The speaker is, in fact, recollecting a past experience: he was walking 'as lonely as a cloud' when suddenly he saw a group of daffodils beside a lake and under the trees.
At the time, the poet was overjoyed with the scene but didn't realise the profound implication of the experience.
is only the present recollection of that joy that enables him to transform the experience into poetry, and to use the power of imagination to change a seemingly commonplace event into an extraordinary one.
Therefore, the simple daffodils are personified, and dance more than the waves do, and are so numerous and bright as to resemble the Milky Way.
Man and nature
pantheistic view of nature: nature is the seat of the
spirit of the universe;
nature comforts man in sorrow, it is a source of joy and pleasure, it teaches man to love, to act in a moral way.
The poet’s task
The poet = a teacher
Shows men how to understand their feelings and improve their moral being.
Draws attention to the ordinary things of life where the deepest emotions are to be found.
style is plain and easy to understand.
his contents focused on the subjects of childhood, of the memory of childhood in adults and of the lost connection with Nature
His images and metaphors mixed natural scenery, religious sentiments and memories of his own childhood in the country.
THE ROLE OF IMAGINATION AND MEMORY
The poet himself is seen as a visionary figure with a heightened sensitivity and imagination which allowed him to respond to experiences that other men might have failed to understand.
In the Preface he maintains that poetry should flow from 'emotions recollected in tranquillity; focusing on these genuine feelings rather than on poetic technique.
In Wordsworth's vision of the poetic process of creation, the poet is inseparable from Nature, to which he belongs and which represents his main source of inspiration, joy and emotions. The poet's feelings and sensory perceptions are aroused by Nature and refined through memory, an active capability which allows the poet to re-create a purified version of the emotion or feeling he originally felt. This 'kindred emotion' is the core of poetry and is transmitted to the reader through it.