William Wordsworth - life and themes in poetry
He was born in 1770 in the Lake District, in the north of England, a lovely place and for this reason in his childhood he had a great love for nature and it will influence his way of writing in the future. There are a few poets of the First generation that lived and worked here and they go under the name of Lake poets. Very important in his life is the time he passed in France, he was a firm supporter of the ideas carried on by the French revolution and he hoped they could have been exported to the rest of the world. Here in France he met Annette Vallon, a French girl, and he felt in love with her and had a baby by her. But then he started having economic problems and so he had to came back to England for good, abandoning the two girls. After a few years he started feeling guilty because of what he did and so he tried to remove from his mind everything connected to France, starting to hate it, beginning from its politics (this happens also because France and England were in those days at war (Napoleon’s wars) and because of the disappointment for the failure of revolutionary ideals) and he became a conservator. In 1798 he published with his friend Coleridge their great collection Lyrical Ballads. This is a very important day, because it was the birth of romantic poetry and lyrical poetry: the poetry of the analysis of yourself and of feelings, of the inner life and these topics are used for the first time, because before they were considered unfit for poetry, the real poetry topics were things like heroes, myths, elevate topics etc., no one who writes of himself. It’s also an innovative poetry because it’s about everyday life, it’s something everyone can see himself in; it’s for a larger public, very uncommon for those days: it’s a revolutionary poetry for a revolutionary age.
Wordsworth believed that the soul after birth gradually loses its perfect knowledge: it’s a philosophical idea took from Plato. There’s a soul also before the birth and he knows every perfect things; when you’re born, you lose a part of this knowledge and little by little, with the contact of the corrupt society, you lose it definitely.