William Wordsworth: As the Poet of Man
“There have been greater poets than Wordsworth but none more original”, says A. C. Bradley. Wordsworth’s chief originality is, of course, to be sought in his poetry of Nature. It must not be supposed, however, that Wordsworth was interested only in Nature and not in man at all. Man, in Wordsworth’s conception, is not to be seen apart from Nature, but is the very “life of her life”. Indeed, Wordsworth’s love of Nature led him to the love of man. Scarcely a poem of his is solely concerned with nature-description. His poetry is expressive of the formative, restorative, reassuring, moral and spiritual influence of Nature on the mind and personality of Man. Nature, of course, may dominate, but “the still sad music of humanity” is never ignored.
Wordsworth’s passion for Nature is well-known and it is also known that his attitude to Nature underwent a progressive evolution— from ‘the coarser pleasures’ of the boyish days to an unreflecting passion untouched by intellectual interests or associations to the transitory stage of human-heartedness accompanied by a lasting and more significant stage of spiritual and mystical interpretation of Nature. Nature, according to Wordsworth is a living entity. Unlike other poets of Nature, he believes that Nature is endowed with life and consciousness and has the capacity of thinking, feeling and willing. The entire Nature is permeated by the feelings of joy and happiness, harmony and peace and there are no strifes, no cares and worries, no jealousy and hatred to disturb the peace and harmony, reigning in the heart of Nature: Love, now a universal birth,
From heart to heart is stealing
From earth to man, from man to earth—
It is the hour of feeling.
Wordsworth’s approach to Nature is that of a mystic. He believed that God pervades the entire universe and all the varied phenomena are the outward manifestations of the same Eternal Reality. This belief of his has been termed as...
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