William Wordsworth was a prolific 19th-century English poet and a central figure in the Romantic literary movement. Born in 1770, Wordsworth, together with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, published Lyrical Ballads in 1798, a seminal collection that marked the beginning of the Romantic era in English literature. Wordsworth’s poetry is characterized by a deep connection to nature, an emphasis on emotion and individual experience, and a rejection of the artificiality of 18th-century neoclassical poetry.

Wordsworth’s prominent works include “Tintern Abbey,” where the poet reflects on the transformative power of nature and the memory of a specific place, “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” which captures the beauty of a field of daffodils, and “The Solitary Reaper,“ in which a man he hears young girl sing a beautiful and enigmatic song that lingers with him far into the future. 

Set amidst the Industrial Revolution and social upheavals of the time, Wordsworth’s poetry reflects a deep concern for the impact of industrialization on the natural world and the human spirit. His emphasis on the sublime in nature and the power of ordinary, everyday experiences has left a lasting impact on the Romantic tradition. Wordsworth’s poetry remains relevant today for its exploration of the human connection to nature, the importance of memory, and the role of the individual in the face of societal change.

Explore an analysis of the collection, a discussion of the poems’ themes, and three mini essays about key ideas in Wordsworth’s Poetry.

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