Poetry is an organic, living entity for the Romantics. Analyze the validity of this viewpoint.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I tend to think that much of the Romantic poetry tends to embrace this particular view.  For example, Wordsworth's "I Wandered as Lonely as a Cloud" takes the idea of flowers and nature and suggests that the life that the natural world features is something that human beings can only hope to embrace.  The "fluttering and dancing" description of the daffodils helps to create an image of life, demonstrating how poetry is meant to "see into the life of things" and not be passive.  For Wordsworth, "the inward eye" is one of life and is something that can be everywhere in the world.  Poetry is the record of this and because of this, it is organic, fluid, and dynamic.  This same  type of reverence for the organic and that which is alive can be seen in Byron's description of beauty in "She Walks in Beauty."  Byron does not see beauty as something that is removed and static.  Rather, it is an operational definition of the woman he envisions.  Beauty is akin to "the night" and at the same time, in "her aspect and in her eyes" there is a validation of this beauty.  In Byron's description, beauty is alive, organic and living.  It is this description that makes poetry not static, enabling beauty to become something vibrant, embodied in the woman that Byron is witnessing.  It is in this where there is a great deal of emphasis on a construction of poetry as an organic and living entity.