Professor Natalie Holter
Enlightenment and Romanticism Humanities
14 April 2013
The poet that I chose is William Wordsworth and the poem of his that I chose is "A Night Thought." Wordsworth was a poet who thought that imagination was a strong force that, combined with our senses, made for a powerful, active force altogether. Basically he believed that this enhanced the way we interpreted the world around us and the way that we reacted to certain events. A strong imagination is what was essential to pave the path for a good life and one's well being. That is part of what the Romanticism era was all about, people expressing themselves for their own well being and to enjoy their lives more. From what I interpreted from "A Night Thought" it appears to be about Wordsworth himself proclaiming that he enjoys the distant beauty of the moon, and even when it is hidden behind the clouds beneath it it is still admirable and beautiful. The moon is always bright as if it were smiling constantly, whereas man, who is spoiled by the many pleasures of the earth along with his fortune, always seems to have a sad look upon his face. Wordsworth enjoys the sight of the moon compared to the chaos and turmoil of the world around him that man has created on earth for themselves due to the continuous fighting from the wars. It appears as if Wordsworth is envious of the peace that the moon has about it. He wants to go against the same rule that his fellow human beings have to follow. Basically, he wants to be as happy and bright as the moon always is. The way that I think that this poem reflects the values of the generation that produced it, the Romanticism era, is by it's general message of wanting to be as happy and at peace as nature rather than be tarnished by the turmoil that man has created in the world. The Romanticism era was all about loving and admiring nature for all of its qualities along with expressing one's self in order to live a happier life and enjoy life a little more. In the poem the moon is an aspect of nature that is being admired by Wordsworth for its beauty even though it is far from our reach in the sky, and even though the clouds dim its bright smile from time to time it can still be admired once the clouds beneath it disappear, revealing the bright smile that was waiting to be shown to the world once again. Rather than focus on the chaos of the world around him, Wordsworth would rather admire the moon for all that it is and appears to want to be as happy and bright as the moon.