Romanticism, according to these poets mainly was all about unabashed emotions. Wordsmith in his preface to the lyrical ballads defined romantic poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” These poets wrote mostly about Nature, William Wordsmith wrote about supernaturalism, believing in freedom and spontaneous creativity not order and imitation.
He also emphasizes the omnipotence of the use of meter in poetry (which he views as one of the key features that differentiates poetry from prose) Canadian, a famous writer, defines Romanticism in A History of English Literature as, “The Romantic spirit can be fined as an accentuated predominance of emotional life, provoked or directed by the exercise of imaginative vision, and in its turn stimulating or directing such exercise. ” Romantic poetry has many characteristics, with nature being the foremost element.
Nature for them is a wellspring of inspiration, satisfaction and happiness. It is vital to note that all the romantic poets differed in their views about nature. Wordsmith is considered the great lover of nature. Wordsmith recognized nature as a living thing, teacher, god and everything. He was the true adorer of nature. Keats describes his love for nature in a simple poem the cricket and the grasshopper. He describes how during the warmth of the night you can hear the cricket chirping and it is a soothing sound.
He describes the whistling of the kettle, Shells, another romantic poet views nature entirely from a different aspect. Where Wordsmith gives more off philosophical touch to nature, shells describes nature, its intellectual aspect. John Keats, another nature lover, adored nature for its sensuousness and beauty, not for its intellectual aspect or philosophical nature. In his poem ode to autumn he describes the autumn season, going deep into the nature, connecting it with real life, in awe of it. In his poem he describes autumn as “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun; Conspiring with him how to load and bless With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run” Escapism is another characteristic very evident in the poetry in the romantic era. Escapism is a term, which implies a writer’s failure to face the agonies of real life and take shelter somewhere else instead of fighting against the odds. Since most of the toes at that time wrote for the people, about the everyday miseries, they themselves too were inflicted upon by these miseries.
They used this world as a sanction, as an escape from their everyday life. A very good example of this would be of John Keats who describes his feelings in Ode to Nightingale as “Away! Away! For I will fly to thee,Not charioted by Bacchus and his parks, But on the viewless wings of Poesy. ” In this poem he mentions wanting to fly away with the nightingale. Melancholy is another aspect in the poems of the romantic era. The poets Just wanted to give vent o their feelings and emotions so that they ease their minds. They wanted to take a load of their minds.
Or sometimes the poets Just talk about their reflections in life, keeping it simple. In Robert frost’s poem stopping by the woods on a snowy evening, he reflects on his life. He implies even though when he turns old he must keep his promises in his last few lines. He says even though the woods are attractive in a sense he has liabilities to the outside world too, as he says woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep. “The Morals or encouragement is also a part of the elements of the romantic poetry.
As Robert frost writes in his the road not taken, that he followed a path which wasn’t much treaded upon. He teaches us in this poem that there are always different routes and different choices in life, and it isn’t necessary that we follow the same path others do. He teaches us to have a sense of differentiation and uniqueness to be the first one to initiate something, setting an example to follow. Imagination is another important element. S. T Coleridge, in his very famous poem Kabul Khan splays a magnificent work of imagination.
This poem is solely about the great conqueror Kabul Khan’s imaginary palace. The poet talks about the river flowing beside his awe inspiring palace. He talks about the fertile lands, about greenery, about the sacred river hitting hard against the rocks. Alpha, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea. So twice five miles of fertile ground With walls and towers were girdled round; And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills, Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree; And here were forests ancient as the hills, Enfolding sunny spots of greenery. “Where He further goes on to describing Kabul Khan as a powerful warrior saying “And all who heard should see them there, And all should cry, Beware! Beware! His flashing eyes, his floating hair! ” Supernaturalism is another important feature of romantic poetry. Most of the romantic poets used supernatural elements in their poetry. Supernaturalism is a unique trait of romantic poets. They used supernaturalism not Just for the creation o horror and awe; rather, they used it for the pleasure of the reader. Samuel Coleridge is the leading romantic poet in this regard.
His poem, ‘Kabul Khan’ is the most romantic poem in the history of English literature. It is completely the product of his imagination. The whole poem is a collection of supernatural elements. Subjectivity and idealization about women and children were two other elements. Most poems did not contain only one element, they contained a blend of many elements. Kabul khan, for example, contained imagination, melancholy and supernaturalism. The poems of this era were for pleasure for knowledge of the past and for moral lessons. There is much to learn from this golden era, much to ponder upon.