In his preface to the groundbreaking volume of poetry Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth defines Romantic poetry as emerging from
the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.
Romantic poetry put its emphasis on emotional response, especially on how nature or a particular landscape can make us feel. Unlike the Augustan poetry that preceded it, it is not interested in writing about great people or great events from the classical world or creating clever, ironic, or universalist aphorisms about morality and life. Instead, its focus is on ordinary people or events as well as the specific and the earnest. It speaks primarily from the heart, not the head.
"To Autumn " fits these characteristics of Romantic poetry. It is lyrical, meaning its emphasis is on emotion. It celebrates nature—in this case, the bounty the earth produces during autumn. It expresses deep gratitude and wonder at the abundance that the fall season pours out on...
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