(Cockermouth, April 7th 1770. Rydal Mount, 23rd April 1850)
William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth, in the Cumberland, in the Lake District, that is the place source of inspiration for the "Lyrical Ballads." Together with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, is considered the founder of the Romanticism and of the English naturalism, thanks to the publication, of the "Lyrical Ballads", first real manifesto of the movement in England.
"Lyrical Ballads" is a collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Although the lyrical ballads is a collaborative work, only four of the poems in it are by Coleridge. That is because Coleridge devoted much of his time to write "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." The first edition, published in 1798, was criticized because there wasn't the use of poetic diction. So, a second edition was published in 1800, in this edition Wordsworth included additional poems and a preface detailing the poetical principles.
His theory revolutionized the contents and the English poetic language.
Simple and immediate language. ("The language of such Poetry as The am recommending is, as to make as is possible, to selection of the language really spoken by man")
The romantic poet is not only who perceives the message of the nature thanks to his particular sensibility, but also who knows how to codify it so that poet’s same experiences are evoked in the reader. (“A man speaking to men: a man, it is true, endued with more lively sensibility, more enthusiasm and tenderness, who has a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul”)
Poetry consists in “spontaneous recollection of feeling" that is a "recollection in tranquillity" of personal experiences lived in the nature that enrich men, forced otherwise to the industrial reality.
Our birth is but a sleep
In “Our birth is but a sleep”, Wordsworth explains the fact that our soul comes from God, and thanks to a particular divine state we can enjoy with a particular faculty, that is imagination. When we are born we continue to have this faculty, and this is possible to see when a child laugh without a real motive. So while during the infancy the memory is strong and the child can remember of his divine origin, when we grow up this memory decreases until it disappears. Wordsworth also explain that there is a close relationship between adult and child, and through the child with the nature. The child, for the author, is the father of the adult, because the happy moments of the childhood, that growing up die, can return with the happiness that adult has when he sees a particular natural event, such as a rainbow. This happiness turns into a joy.
Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower
“Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower” is a regular ballad, because the stanzas have six lines, in which Wordsworth remember a dead country girl. This girl called Lucy is for the poet the perfection of nature, in fact he does not describes her directly but always using associations with natural landscapes: with the energy of a young deer, with the stillness of a rock, with the musical quality of a stream. In this ballad the nature is personified to a man who desires to have Lucy as his bride forever, but for having her, it is necessary the young girl’s death.