William Wordsworth was born in Cumberland in 1770 he belonged to the first generation of romantic poets.
In 1790 he went in France where he was influenced by the ideals of revolutionary France. The brutal development of the revolution made him despair and disillusioned/disappointed and he found an help in nature .
In 1795 he went to Somerset nearby his friend Samuel Coleridge .They both wrote a collection of poems (crucial for the English romantic poetry) called “Lyrical ballads” that was published anonymously in 1798. In the second edition of 1800 they added it a Preface that became the manifesto of English romanticism.
-man and nature:
According to the Rousseau’s ideas about the goodness of nature and superiority of the child, in his works he stressed on the importance of the children feelings and imagination (“children is the father of the man”) and also he said that man could elevated himself to the divine state thanks the contemplation of the nature. Wordsworth was interested in the relationship and interaction between natural world and man, he believed that man and nature were inseparable: man coexist with natural world had an active role. He follow the pantheistic idea and believed that nature includes both inanimate and human nature, is two different aspect of the same whole. Nature comfort man in sorrow, it is a source of pleasure and joy , it teaches man to love and to act in moral way.
-the sense and memory and recollection in tranquillity:
nature means also the world of senses, perceptions, sensibility and feelings from the eyes , ear, perfume ..
Sensation lead to the simple thought were combined into complex way (colouring of imagination) . In fact Wordsworth was interested in the growth of relationship nature-emotion. Memory had an important role in this process. Only memory give poetry its life and power.
Imagination gave the word a new meaning . Imagination means intuition, seeing into us with our “third eyes” the inward eyes.
All poetry “takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility (bliss of solitude)” and the poem is the result of present and past experience, from a start emotion to kindred one.
the manifest of English romanticism or preface (lyrical ballad 1800)
In this work Wordsworth expressed a new concept of poetry which stressed on the importance of rural life,the use of simple language and the importance of emotions and imagination.
In the preface he stared to show the object of his poetry. His poetry started from a situation or incidents of common life. the best object to write is the humble rural life and simple people living in the countryside that were in close contact with nature because they elementary feelings and habits were more easily to be understood and communicated (incorrupted word and pureness of emption).
The language is simple,(“really used by man”)away from poetic diction.
Imagination: the role of imagination is most important. He called his function “coloring of imagination”: the ability to present an ordinary things in an unusual way.
Then he pass to describe the SUBJECT: the poet. For him poet is a common man but he have grater sensibility,enthusiasam, comprensive soul,he shows better his passion has the ability to penetrate depply the sense of things. The power of imagination makes him able to communicate his knowledge, is like a teacher who shows man how to understand their feelings.
POETRY: is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, it takes origin from emotion recollected and contemplated (gazed and gazed) In tranquility recreated by the memory of kindred emotion (by the inward eye).
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Devonshire in 1772, he was influenced by French revolutionary ideals that made him an enthusiastic republican. After the disillusionment of French Revolution he try to create an Utopian community in Pennsylvania called “pantisocracy” that meaning general ownership of property a man who give up their possessions and labor together for the common good. He suffer for chronicle rheumatism for this reason he began to make use of opium addiction from which he was never able to get rid. In 1797 he met Wordsworth and both wrote the Lyrical Ballads. During this years he wrote most of his works like rime of ancient mariner 1798. In 1799 he joined Wordsworth in the lake of district finally he came back London where he continued to work as a literary critic and lecturer and wrote Biographia Literaria in 1817 . he died in 1834.
-Importance of imagination:
like Blake and Wordsworth, Coleridge stressed the role of imagination. He considered two kind of imagination:
-Primary imagination: connected with human perception and individual power to produce images. Every body had primary imagination but use it unconsciously.
-Secondary Imagination: was voluntary. “it dessolves, diffuses,dissipates in order to re-creat..” so the man not only can perceive the world but they was able to change and create a new world. Before Art was considered just an imitation of nature (mimesi), now the artist could re-creat it. “consciously will” and “re-create” are the key words: artist could create something personal and original.
WORD vs COLE: The primary imagination is like the wordrworth’s “spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling or the emotion recollected in tranquility” because they are both unconscious, while the emotion-copy (or produced the poetry after tranquil contemplation)is like the secondary imagination, infact both involves contemplation. Coleridge Secondary imagination is an echo of first, Wordsworth said emotion-copy is “similar” to the original.
-Power of fancy:
Fancy was the ability of the poet to use devices like metaphors,alliteration;is the way in which poet communicate to everybody.
-importance of nature:
Unlike Wordsworth he don’t think that nature is a moral guide or source of happiness. He saw nature and material word in a sort of neoplatonic interpretation, as a reflection of perfect world of ideas. The supernatural became a metaphor for profound human experiences, can not be represented by the material world but expressed through the language of images.