In a critical appreciation of poets William Wordsworth and John Keats, how relevant are their works in today's fast paced world?Answer the above queastion with respect to their moral perspectives ...

In a critical appreciation of poets William Wordsworth and John Keats, how relevant are their works in today's fast paced world?

Answer the above queastion with respect to their moral perspectives  with reference to the poems "Ode to Duty" and "Ode on the Poets."

 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Being representatives of the Romantic period of poetry, Keats and Wordsworth were relevant to both their times and contemporary periods of history, as well.  Their ideas of emphasizing emotions over detached supposed notions of rationality, embracing the natural sensibilities of action and individual freedom, as well as the appreciation of beauty in as many contexts as possible are relevant concepts in modern reality (as well as adolescence!).  The emphasis on emotional connection to ourselves and our world is present in both poems.  For Keats, in "Ode on the Poets," he describes this bond in several ways.  One way is by asking the poets to whom he calls out about their "souls" and where they might reside.  Appealing to this idea of internal connection, Keats implores to learn from those who came before him, an idea seen in the line, "Teach us the way to find you/ where your other souls are joying."  The idea of seeking an emotional link to previous thinkers or nurturing figures is something that is incredibly important to the Romantic thinkers who believed that if there is such a thing as "progress," it requires individuals to examine the glory of the past and seek to replicate it.  We see this idea in Wordsworth's "Ode to Duty", when he singles out "love" and "truth" as ways to describe individual expression.  Continuing this idea, Wordsworth offers a vision of humanity where "happy our nature will be, when love is an unerring light/ and joy its own security."  Both ideas from Wordsworth and Keats have modern day relevance in that they both seek to enhance the idea of who we are, what we do, and provide a sense of answer to these questions.  In a fast paced world where questioning of why we do what we do is not firmly engrained in the acquisition of wealth, social prestige, and power, both poets are asking for reevaluation and seek to link our identities as human beings to something larger and more enveloping than merely ourselves.

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