How does the poem match the defining charcteristics of Romantic poetry?

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

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One characteristic of the poem that matches up in a very strong manner with Romanticism is its emphasis on the natural world.  Nature has such a profound and transformational effect on the poem's speaker, presumably Wordsworth.  It is the natural setting of the field and flowers that helps to enable him to understand so much about his own condition in the world and what it should be.  For Wordsworth, nature is where insight into self develops for one learns to "see into the life of things."  This matches with Romanticism, a movement that placed a primacy on the perfection found in the natural world.

Another element of the poem that matches with the defining characteristics of Romantic poetry is how the poem sees the individual.  Truth and understanding are notions that only the subjective can understand.  These are not scientific pursuits which exist outside of the self.  The poem praises the subjective notion of identity.  It is here in which one can make sense of the world and the individual's place within it.  At the same time, the notion of the subjective is where truth and understanding linger.  The reflective quality that is present in the poem's ending speaks to the universal and transcendent condition of subjective truth.  The poem's emphasis on the subjective is a significant part of the Romanticism within it.  Both the poem and the Romantic quality to poetry emphasize that it is within the individual and sense of subjective where truth and pure understanding can be found.  In this, another match between both the poem and the movement it represents is evident.