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Romanticism

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Student Question

How do Coleridge and Wordsworth represent "Renaissance of Wonder" and "Return to Nature" in their poetry?

Quick answer:

The two aspects of Romanticism "Renaissance of Wonder" and "Return to Nature" are best represented by Coleridge and Wordsworth respectively. Coleridge was fascinated with the exploration of the supernatural and of the realm that lay beyond the realm of rationality and silence. The root of this was his desire to initiate a sense of wonder in the reader. For example, "Kubla Khan," generates a picture that instigates wonder in the reader's mind. "His flashing eyes/ His floating hair" as well as the construction of Xanadu brings to light a sense of wonder as to what is being created through language and imagery.

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I think the statement holds a great deal of validity.  Coleridge was fascinated with the exploration of the supernatural and of the realm that lay beyond the realm of rationality and silence.  The root of this was his desire to initiate a sense of wonder in the reader.  For example, "Kubla Khan," generates a picture that instigates wonder in the reader's mind.  "His flashing eyes/ His floating hair" as well as the construction of Xanadu brings to light a sense of wonder as to what is being created through language and imagery.  There is not a desire to construct a realistic setting, but rather one that compels wandering.  At the same time, Wordsworth's love of nature is almost reverential.  There is a strong sense of pantheism in Wordsworth's work.   A prime example would be in the poem, "The World is Too Much With Us," whose end theme is that relinquishing of the modern setting for a more natural context that brings individuals closer to original intention.  In both of these works, Coleridge's embrace of the supernatural wonder and Wordsworth's yearning for nature are both represented as part of each thinker's pursuit of Romanticism.

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