What is actually meant by 'imagination' in the context of English Romanticism?how does that matter for an analysis of poetry

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The "imagination" in English Romanticism often men a dependence on feeling and intuition rather than on logical reasoning which had been so much a part of Enlightment thinking. English Romantics and later, American Romantics, were reacting to the emphasis put on logic and strict forms that were considered "the correct" method for solving problems. English Romantics focused instead on using one's imagination and/or intuition which they believed was closest to the divine, rather than depending so much on rigid structure and argument. They emphasized the importance of one's own experience and your own interpretation of that experience, rather than interpretations given by the church or tradition. Their imaginations often focused on dreams and fantastic images and they were very suspicious of the traditional, establishment. "The concept of “the sublime” (a thrilling emotional experience that combines awe,
magnificence, and horror) was introduced." All of that contributed to the idea that imagination was better than imitation or logic.