William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
Wordsworth is one of the most important poets of the First Generation. In his Preface to the Lyrical Ballads Wordsworth explains what Romanticism is and which aspects, themes and language the Romantic poet has to face. The Preface is also considered the manifesto of the Romantic Age in England.
Wordsworth says that the object of the romantic poems is made up of incidents and situations of common life. The language used is simple and “really used by men”, far from the “social vanity” and purified, to be understood by everyone. At the same time the poet should use a “certain colouring of imagination”, to make the object of the poems more interesting. Low and rustic conditions were generally chosen, because in those conditions, the passions of the heart find their expression and simple feelings are incorporated with nature.
Then Wordsworth defines the figure of the poet: the poet is “a man speaking to men”, who has got more sensibility, enthusiasm, tenderness, imagination, a greater knowledge of human nature, a more comprehensive soul, a greater readiness and power in expressing what he feels and thinks.
In Wordsworth’s opinion poetry is “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings”, the recollection in tranquillity of emotions. Thanks to the “Inward eye”, poets can recollect what they saw in tranquillity, gradually tranquillity becomes emotion, emotion gives the energy to write poems and to become creative giving the poet a state of enjoyment.
“Daffodils” is a poem written by William Wordsworth, it’s composed of 4 stanzas of 6 lines each. The rhyme scheme is ABABCC. Each stanza can be given a title. First Stanza: Surprise at the beauty of Daffodils.
Second Stanza: Contemplation of the infinity of the Daffodils. Third Stanza: The happiness of the poet for the jocund company of the Daffodils. Fourth Stanza: The Inward eye of the poet recollects the beauty of Daffodils in the tranquility of his home. The poet describes one of his experiences in the Lake District: the poet was walking when he saw a field of Daffodils and this view gives him a lot of joy and when he comes back home, thanks to his Inward Eye (his imagination), he recollects in the tranquility of his home what he saw and his heart fills with pleasure.
The similes in the poem are at the 1st line, the poet is compared to a cloud, because he is wandering in the Lake District; and in the 7th and 8th line, Daffodils are compared to stars in the milky way, and they look shining like them. The poet uses the assonances of the sound /o/ (“wandered”, “lonley”, “host”, “jocund company”) and /i/ (“hills”, “daffodils”, “trees”, “breeze”, “twinkle”, “milky”, “glee”, “bliss”, “fills”)and alliterations of /l/, /d/, /s/ (“wandered”, “cloud”, “crowd”, “gazed”, “dance”, “floats”, “vales”, “hills”, “host”, “fluttering”, “stars”, “shine”), which give the sense of tranquility and joy.
With this poem Wordsworth wants to convey the relationship between man and nature. To the poet nature is a source of inspiration and pleasure, which gives him the creative force to write poems. To nature the poet is the only one who can understand its beauty and convey it to other people. The poet gives a soul, life and immortality to nature, so that its beauty is preserved forever. We can define this relationship an osmotic relationship, actually the one can’t live without the other and vice versa.