Among six pioneering figures of Romanticism of early 19th century namely Blake, Shelly, Coleridge, Wordsworth, Byron and Keats; Coleridge, Keats and Wordsworth are leading figures. These three leading figures have dignified time and nature with godly presence over it. They have set their different attitudes towards nature and time in their works.
As this course included their different works; ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, ‘La Belle Dame sans Marci’ by John Keats and ‘Daffodils’ by William Wordsworth, have dignified the presence of nature and time in respective works. They have further beautified the nature and regarded the nature as god.
Coleridge, in ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ has established inseparable relationship between nature and human beings. In his work, he has come across the massive presence of natural elements like sun, wind, mist, birds, water, storm and sea. In this poem, persona is shown doing wrong deeds towards nature. Mariner shots the spiritual/religious bird ‘Albatross’ which invites the punishments upon Mariner.
“And I had done an hellish thing
And it would work ’em woe
For all averred, I had killed the bird
That made the breeze to blow.”(9-12)
In fact, nature is shown in the mood of anger/sad. Then, all the shipmates including persona start to suffer with natural calamities i.e. storm, scorching heat, wind, sinking of ship etc.
“ Then all averred, I had killed the bird
That brought the fog and mist.” (17-18)
Killing the ‘Albatross’ is committing mistakes against the nature which is needed to be avenged. And the persona is avenged by the nature. Nature is placed in god-like position which needs to be respected.
Similarly when we think of the time, Coleridge also reinforces the interconnectedness of time along with the interexchange ability of their consequences like other romantic works have portrayed. Coleridge has vividly presented the fact that past time or wrong deeds in the past exchange the consequences with present and future as well.
When persona shots the ‘Albatross’, then he comes across the severe consequences. Previously done mistakes against nature obviously bring bad consequences/hazards in present and future state of time. Committing that sin brings mist, storm, scorching heat, lack of water etc. Thus, these sorts of interconnection and exchange of consequences of time also signify the nature.
Similarly, Keats in his work ‘La Belle Dame sans Merci’ mentions enigmatic approach to time and nature in his ballad entitled along with lonesome Knight. In this work, existence of supernatural power makes it enigmatically approaching the central idea of romanticism. Unlike Coleridge’s poem, persona doesn’t commit any mistakes against nature but nature exists very pale, sad for him. Nature turns autumn for him.
“O, What can ail thee, night-at-arms,
Alone and palely loitering?
The sedge has withered from the lake,
And no birds sing.” (1-4)
Similarly lines from other stanzas are like:
With anguish moist and fever dew,
And on the cheeks a fading rose
Fast withered too.” (10-12)
All natural elements show sadness, frustration of Knight-at-arms. Keats has chosen all those natural elements to reinforce the feelings, thoughts or psychology of persona in certain way. Natural elements have played different roles for the mysterious and seductive woman helping her further to seduce more knights.
In this way, nature is smartly praised by Keats to establish his ideas upon different characters or perspectives. Woman is supernaturally portrayed in the poem, who is also backed up by natural elements. For e.g.: availability of wild honey, manna dew, sweet roots etc. In this way, nature is glorified to solidify the idea of romanticism.
Like Coleridge, Keats has used the feature of interexchange ability of Timely consequences of persona’s deeds with other natural or supernatural elements into present state. In other words; the persona was into the relationship with the woman of mystery in the past, which made him to suffer. Although the present state is pleasurable with full granary of animals, Knight is still pale, sad and lonely. Poet switches from one state of time to another frequently.
In the first three paragraphs, he is in present state. Later he comes to explore about past deeds/adventures and finally final stanza switches persona into present state of time once again. Thus, switching from one state of time to other exchanging consequences, ideas etc attributes more for the glorification of nature in poetry.
Likewise, Wordsworth personifies the daffodils for his pleasure and happiness in his poem ‘Daffodils’. Such personification of natural elements heightens the significance of nature. In his work, Wordsworth has portrayed nature in such a way which provides him every moment of delectation.
“For off, when on the couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon the inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.” (19-24)
Daffodils have erased the feeling of loneliness of the persona. He dances, moves around, jumps, flutters with daffodils. Daffodils being the central entity with other elements like hills, vales, lakes, stars etc work together for the glee. Thus, poet stands in a point that nature and human beings stay together for the mutual understanding.
Like previously mentioned two poets, Wordsworth also contributes for the fact of interconnection and interexchange ability of time and its consequences. In his poem, Wordsworth has presented first three stanzas for the portrayal of his past experiences with nature which yields perfect afterglow in his present state of time. Now, though he is in pensive mood, his heart overflows with the enchantment and dances with daffodils.
Thus, all these representative works of romanticism establish the position of nature in godly and supremely powerful state which comes up with its own glorification along with timely interconnection and interchangeability of consequences, feelings, thoughts etc.
Thank you for reading with “I”.