The Romantic age and William Wordsworth
The romantic age covers a period from 1790 to 1850.
Its characteristics are not easy to be defined, because there are different aspects for different countries.
Romanticism is a reaction against the neoclassical and razionalistic ideals and the realization of the emotional and imaginative aspects of life.
The tipical romantic poet naturally inclines to misticism,the exotic, the strange, the unreal, the marvellous and the abnormal. He tries to escape from actuality and become a dreamer and an individualist.
The social conditions of England had changed greatly,as a consequence of the Industrial Revolution and it was more sharply divided into hostile factions of rich and poor. The poets become aware that they cannot speak to the whole society so the tend to revolt against it.
This is the case of the major romantic poets: Coleridge, Shelley, Byron and Wordsworth.
Can be considered the greatest poet of nature. He was born in 1770; he was educated at a grammar school and St.John’s College in Cambridge but he delighted in nature more than in books.
He spent a year in France where he embraced the cause of the French Revolution but he changed his ideas after the excesses of the terror and the rise of France under the imperialistic power of Napoleon.
Togeter with Coleridge, another great poet, he published the “Lirical Ballads” which remained as the manifesto of the romantic movement. They mark the end of the formal poetic diction of 18th century and the beginning of a more passionate and imaginative kind of poetry.
In Germany he started writing «The Prelude» which is an autobiographical poem.
During his best creative period he wrote a number of odes, sonnets and lyrics collected in «Poems in 2 volumes». He died in 1850 at the age of 80.
Now I want to read «The solitary reaper»,which is a poem of 32 verseses divided into 4 strophes. In this poem Wordsworth tells about a solitary reaper which is singing a melancholy and misterious song. The girl’s voice was thrilling, but the theme of the strain was unknown.
The author listened to the girl and he bore the music in his heart after it was heard no more.
I liked this poetry so much, because it made me listened to the girl singing and because Wordsworth describes the landscape with hidden words; besides the verses are musical and this poetry is relaxing.