-English Romantic Poets - Two Generations of Poets-
English Romanticism saw the prevalence of poetry, because it was the better way to give expression to emotional experience and individual feelings.
The subjective philosophy of J.G. Fichte pointed out that the very existence and shape of the world depended entirely on the vision of the individual imagination.
Imagination allowed the Romantic poets to see beyond surface reality and apprehend a truth beyond the power of reason.
Also it allowed the poet to re-create and modify the external world of experience.
The poet was seen as a ‘visionary prophet’ or as a ‘teacher’, that could mediate between man and nature, could point out the evils of society, could give voice to the ideals of beauty, truth and freedom.
The Romantic poets also regarded Nature as a ‘living force’, as the expression of God in the universe.
Nature became a main source of inspiration, a stimulus to thought, a source of conform and joy and a means to convey moral truths.
As for the poetic technique, the Romantic poets searched for a new, individual style, using more vivid and familiar words, with a simple syntax, symbols and images, that assumed a vital role as the outer, visible, vehicles of the inner visionary perceptions.
The great English Romantic poets are usually grouped into two generations: the first generation, often called ‘The Lake Poets’, included Wordsworth and Coleridge; the poets of the second generation were Byron, Shelley and Keats.
The poets of the second generation all died very young and away from home, in Mediterranean countries.
They experimented the political disillusionment of the period.
Individualism, as well as the alienation of the artist from the society, were stronger in this generation, and found different attitudes of the three poets: ‘the Byronic hero’, Shelley’s Prometheus, Keats’s escape into the world of classical beauty.