Wordsworth and Nature

In the poem “Letters Written in Early Spring” by William Wordsworth and in the painting “Landscape with an Aqueduct” (1818) by Théodore Gericault we see the love for Nature reflected amongst the perceiver’s perception of Nature and overall landscape. As done by various Romantic poets and artists, the love for Nature overpowers. The need to honor and respect the planet manifests from the fellow artist’s appreciation and admiration for Mother Earth.

Wordsworth writes about the bird’s singing around him as he sits in a small woodland grove and states:

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature’s holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?” (Wordsworth, 1798)

the repetition of the phrase “what man has made of man?” refers to the author continuously pondering mankind’s impact on Nature and humanity. The poet’s analysis of all mankind brings sadness. Possibly because the poet is realizing all the effects of greed and violence that initially stem from mankind’s fear of losing power or control. Mankind’s need for power and control has significantly influenced our relationship with Mother Earth. Collectively speaking, our relationship with Mother Earth is lacking.

The poet ponders the beauty of Nature and the “pleasure” found in the “breezy air” and the “budding twigs“. The poet is returning to his pure and innocent state of being a human – but with an immortal soul – and realizing we are far more connected to Mother Earth as her inhabitants than we’d like to think. A connection beyond what could consciously understand. We are all currently living on this planet, breathing the planet’s air and eating her naturally grown produce. We must extend eternal, unconditional love to the planet by physically spending time with Her. Only by spending time in Nature are we able to truly witness and observe the beauty, therapy and “pleasure” of Nature. Nature deserves to be loved. She deserves to have our undivided attention. Similar to the poet Wordsworth documenting his intimate moments with Nature in beautifully written Romantic verses.

The artist Théodore Gericault does a good job of documenting the beauty of Nature. Shining bright, purifying Sun rays over the mountains is illustrated overpowering the landscape. We could see two small individuals having a verbal exchange. This painting illuminates how small humans are compared to how big the Universe truly is. The human race is one small portion of All There Is and yet mankind has created so much unhealthy impact on the condition and physical state of Mother Earth.

  • Brianna Barajas


One thought on “Wordsworth and Nature

  1. The most original idea here is that it is evident in the poem that mankind fears losing control. I think this speaks volumes about Romanticism being from the point of view of oppressed peoples. Do you think that this fear is why humans oppress other humans?
    -Oliver Briggs


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