William Wordsworth (1770-1850) changed the course of English Poetry. He made its subject the internal world of man, the strivings of the mind and the sublime experience of the soul. His immediate predecessors John Dyer (1700-1758), James Thomson (1700-1748) and Thomas Gray (1716-1771) wrote nature poetry like Wordsworth, but in a rather different manner. They described the external world in a conventional stylised way, almost as a series of two-dimensional, painted scenes, in a stage set.And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something for more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting sins,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky and the mind of Man
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thoughts
And rolls through all things.
'Wordsworth is one of the few English poets to describe mystical states and his writings contain similarities with Buddhist and Yogic scripture'
Wordsworth produced a style of poetry which was psychologically persuasive and based on direct autobiographical experience. In his view poetry was a philosophical vehicle and meditative activity formed from 'emotion recollected in tranquillity.' Above all it was a means of apprehending a natural landscape charged with divine significance.
wordsworth as anature poet