Search
Home / Literature  / Wordsworth: When Experience Gives Birth To Emotion

Wordsworth: When Experience Gives Birth To Emotion

To Wordsworth, the emotion recollected in tranquility is at the origin of genuine poetry as it is the result of a connection between past experience and the present of memory.

Wordsworth - UberAura

1 minute

 

In 1798, William Wordsworth and Samuel T. Coleridge published Lyrical Ballads. It has always been considered the Manifesto of English Romanticism in which one can discover every feature of this new literary movement, from its themes to its style.
The themes deal with ordinary situations and incidents, while the main characters are humble, ordinary people belonging to the rural world. As a consequence, language should be simple and understandable by everyone. The more direct it is, the more it approaches the purer passions.

This article is about one precise aspect of Wordsworth’s poetry, that is to say, the so-called emotion recollected in tranquility.

 

Wordsworth was interested in the relationship between man and nature. Perhaps, this was also due to the fact that he was born in 1770 and had lived in the English Lake District from 1799. He believed that contact between the natural world and man generated emotions and sensations that he described in his poems.

My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky”: he wrote these lines in the namesake poem published in 1802. Therefore, man is an essential part of nature and nature comforts him in sorrow, giving him joy and pleasure.

 

Daffodils - UberAura

 

However, the relationship between man and nature is not the only aspect that has a central role in Wordsworth’s poetry. Memory is also a necessary element. It should be underlined that, to Wordsworth, emotion recollected in tranquility is at the origin of genuine poetry as it is the result of a connection between past experience and the present of memory. In the first sequence of this process, the poet looks at natural objects through his own senses: this produces an emotion kept in memory. Later in time, in a quiet atmosphere (in tranquility), the poet remembers that very sensory experience and obtains a new kindred emotion. Now, this kindred emotion is written in a poem which, once read by others, will create another emotion in them. The most famous example is provided by the poem Daffodils, published in 1807 and considered his most famous work in which this peculiar trait of his poetry is perfectly described.

Through his method of interpreting poetry, Wordsworth gives a different meaning to the role of experience and makes readers identify themselves with the themes developed, as they are so ordinary, so familiar.

Review overview
NO COMMENTS

POST A COMMENT