illustrated portrait of English poet WIlliam Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

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How does Wordsworth's poetry depict the complexity of human experience?

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William Wordsworth is a classic English Romanticism poet who explores the relationship between humans and nature and the complexity of the human experience often as it relates to nature.

As an example, in Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud," the human-nature relationship and the influence nature has on the human mind and human emotions is explored. In this poem, the narrator is wandering and lonely when he comes upon a field and is deeply affected by the sight of thousands of gorgeous daffodils. The narrator sees the daffodils as energetic, gleeful dancers and proclaims that "A poet could not but be gay / In such a jocund company."

The emotions and energy he perceives in the flowers transform his own mind-state, even when he is no longer in the field. When the narrator is alone in his home, no longer immersed in nature, his "inward eye" often turns to the scene of daffodils, and he is brought once again to joy.

Wordsworth, time and time again, is utterly adept at describing the deepness of joy and belonging humans experience when connected to nature and the utter isolation and depravity he perceives in humanity when we are isolated from the natural world. Through this poem, and many of his others, Wordsworth potently describes the complexity of the human experience in relation to our dependence on, and integral belonging to, the natural world.

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