Why is William Wordworth's poem "Nutting" romantic?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One of the central aspects of Romanticism is the way in which man seeks out nature and almost looks to return to it as a source of inspiration, maturity, peace and tranquility. Many of Wordsworth's poems feature an account of him walking in the countryside, seeking out this untrammelled nature, and the impact that this nature has on him. This poem is the same, as we see a youthful Wordsworth go out into the countryside to harvest nuts, and then enraptured by the beauty in nature that he sees and experiences:

I heard the murmur and the murmuring sound,
In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay
Tribute to ease, and, of its joy secure
The heart luxuriates with indifferent things,
Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones,
And on the vacant air.

Even though he went on to "ravage" the nut tree and feel guilty for having done so, the major lesson of the poem is expressed in the afterword, addressed to a "maiden," and having a distinctly Romantic essence to it:

Then, dearest Maiden! move along these shades
In gentleness of heart with gentle hand
Touch,--for there is a Spirit in the woods.

In spite of the way that we as humans "ravage" nature for our own purposes, there is still a "Spirit" of nature that is ready to commune with us if we are open to it.

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