William Wordsworth- Life
He was born in 1770 in the lake district. Firstly he had begun attending grammar school, and later went to Cambridge. He spent a period in France where, enthusiastic about new ideas of democracy, became a supporter of the "French Revolution". After returning to England, he met the philosopher "Godwin" and the poet "Coleridge". From this period Wordsworth had become intensely disillusioned with the revolution whose initial ideals had degenerated into the "terror". In 1798 Wordsworth and Coleridge published Anonymously the "Lyrical Ballads", that marked the beginning of the Romanticism in England. In 1800, the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, included Wordsworth's famous prose "Preface", where he establishes the principles of romantic poetry. He died in 1850.
The preface to the Lyrical Ballads:
• Poetry must be concerned to everyday world and the influence of memory on the present, the recollection of emotions and feelings.
• The poet with his imagination can communicate his feelings.
• Simple everyday language.
I wandered Lonely as a Cloud. This work is connected to the poet's personal experience. He compares himself to a cloud, he sees a full field of yellow daffodils, which are seen by the poet as a "crowd". In the second stanza he compares flowers to the stars, and sees 10 thousand stars. The joy exhibited by the flowers dancing and the stars that "twinkle" is attributed to them by the poet through the use of personification. The poet firstly looks at the flowers casually, then fixes them and sees them in his mind, and he feels happy. In the last stanza, the poet is on his sofa and there is a change from past to present (to express the status when the poet has a poetical inspiration). . The phrase "that inward eye" (quell'occhio interno) expresses the concept of emotion. In this line is describes his capability of recalling experience at future times. So the experience is not lost, but may be recovered when he wants. The view of the flowers gives joy to the poet but he doesn't realize it at the moment, but only later, when memory brings back the scene.
The second generation of Romantic poets:
Byron, Shelley and Keats. The second wave of Romantic poets who came after Wordsworth and Coleridge were all different from one another, in terms of their style and preoccupations. In fact the consciousness expressed in their poems is more complex and unstable and there is often an ironic distance between the I (l'io) of the poems and the I who writes; in fact they all share the sense of the ultimate failure of art. The poets in this period are more aware of the distance that separates art from life. Their poems often reflect on the poetic process itself and the limits of language but the voices and the aims of the poets, are extremely singular.