Tuesday, 23 April 2013

The day I discovered I was a Romantic

The day I discovered I was a Romantic. 
My studying turned to William Wordsworth and I learnt in depth what he began in English literature.
 He began Romanticism.

The word wasn't thought of in the same way then as it is today.
It was a new way of crafting poetry. It didn't care for the rules of the Augustan age before, where writers placed so much importance on how they wrote and not what was beneath their words.   
But William saw the suffering of the poor just as William Blake did, and he wrote about it in his poems.

William's way of looking at the world was through nature. The shapes, colours, textures, and the scale of the beauty of nature had a powerful and emotional effect on him and others who thought like him.

The Romantics pictured themselves as aloof from the crowd. 
They placed significance on imagination, intuition and emotion.
They also believed that childhood was the epitome of who the adult would later become.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge feverishly wanted his children to grow up in the countryside. He insisted that nature should be his children's teacher, and that the urban way of life should be prevented from seeping into the child's existence before it was necessary.

When William Wordsworth was studying in Cambridge, he found that he had hardly any inspiration because he was not surrounded by his wonderful countryside. 

I know that my childhood, rambling freely amid the corn and flowers, trees and meadows was what instilled within me a love for all things natural upon this earth.
 Now that I am at university in the middle of a very big city, I cannot help hungering for the meadows of home, for the soft river, for the sweet and gentle bells tolling from the church.
I knew somewhere within me that I had always known there were others gone before that thought the same way I did. 
And there still are human beings now breathing upon the earth they born into or wanted to be born into.
And we are just the same. 
You are not alone.

Why did all this happen? Why is nature so important? Why was it such a colossal movement?

Because creation is God's own handiwork. It was crafted by him and brings glory to him and will forever more.
And so through it we find splendour, power, spirituality, purpose, and utter wonder.

We too are his,
 and we were made to worship him just as the birds do.

"The earth has music for those who listen"

- George Santayana 


  1. When was that day exactly? :) Is it just recently, or did it come along the 17t spring of your life? :)

    I like what you said that Romanticists "placed significance on imagination, intuition and emotion." :)

    It's so good being a Romanticist, isn't it? :)

    It just does not appeal to me to be practical and realist all the time :(
    Sometimes people ask me "Why do you love reading books of fantasy, if they don't have a significance with reality. You should read books that has happened in reality or that could help you with practical decisions in life."

    But for me, those things you mentioned: imagination, intuition, and emotion are the very essences of life, because if one would not satisfy them, I think it is not quite a life at all...

  2. Hello Joanna!

    I've just watched the video on Youtube that you recommended to me, about the Romanticists and nature :)

    It is easy for me to understand your case, that you are hungering for the countryside when you're at the more urban environment around your uni, because you've grown to be with nature when you were a child :)
    You've experienced the kind of childhood that Coleridge wished for every child to experience :)

    But I wonder how could you explain the case of Coleridge himself? He was sent away in London as a child, and he detested it... So how come someone who grew up to be away from nature ended up loving nature so much and advocates for every child growing up in that carefree and wonderful innocence around nature?

    I myself have lived all my life in cities and have never ever experienced nature, and yet I love nature just as much as you do, and wish that every child should be protected from the harshness of the urban world, just as much as Coleridge did.
    I don't know why I feel this way even if I have never been with nature all my life. All i could say is that I have this in me ever since I came to being...

    I am so happy that you were so blessed to have spent the whole of your childhood with nature. For me, that is an achievement even better than getting university degrees and having successful professional careers!

  3. Noise, lack of light, pollution, being in a hurry...
    Modern civilization underestimates important simple things we humans need, and eventually society becomes alienated, as if we could be separated from our own condition.

    Maybe modern cities are just mirrors of their citizens mental attitudes, always in a hurry, wanting more of something they don't know; losing their life in the greed for time and space. And cities help create that condition too.

    Sometimes I feel Romanticism as the nostalgia for something you feel deep inside you are and have always been, and the longing for living according to it.
    Inspiration may be just a reminder of this.

    Sorry if my English is bad. I want to start English Studies next year, so I thought your blog would be helpful for it.
    But, more important, it helps me to see words as a reminder of beauty, so I'm re-discovering the pleasure of literature.
    So thank you very much.

    José Antonio