Throughout History, Poetry Has Evolved To Fit The Needs

1515 WordsMar 14, 20177 Pages
Throughout history, poetry has evolved to fit the needs of the poet. Typically, scholars categorize writings in time periods that often reflect similar ideals between writers. The Age of the Romantics, can be viewed as a literary movement in which writers appear to have a similar driving force behind writing. Two important authors during this Age of the Romantics are William Wordsworth and William Blake. Although both Blake and Wordsworth are considered to be writers from the Romantic literary period, they have contrasting beliefs on what it means to be a poet and the poets function in society. For starters, Blake argues that people must not be limited to their senses. One of Blake 's chief arguments is that humanity is hindered when they…show more content…
He believes that people fail to use the imagination and then fail to transcend what their senses can tell them is real. He explains in "There Is No Natural Religion" that, "He who sees the Infinite in all things sees God. He who sees the Ratio only sees himself only" (117). Blake truly believed that humanity needs to see more than just science and things that can be proven, he really believed in the power of imagination. To Blake, he saw imagination as a portal to messages from a higher power-- namely God. By contrast, Wordsworth takes a completely different approach to poetry where he relief heavily on his senses. Wordsworth relied on his senses to produce images that he could then use to produce his poetry. Wordsworth describes, "I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility" (303). He continues, "Now, if nature be thus cautious in preserving in a state of enjoyment a being thus employed, the poet ought to profit by the lesson thus held forth to him" (303). These lines indicate the chief mission Wordsworth find himself on when writing poetry. Thus, because nature can produce such feelings in the poet, the poet must therefore rely heavily on what he sees. In order for him to have "powerful feelings" to recollect on he must first have a visual aid to send him into this "spontaneous overflow." This is one of the core differences between Blake and

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