Romanism is a phenomenon of European culture of the 18th-19th centuries that stimulated writers to scientific and technological progress, the ideological and artistic trend in European and American culture. This period is characterized by self-assertion of spiritual and creative life of people, the image of strong passions and strong character, spirituality and healing nature.
English romanticism is conventionally divided into three generations. The first phase of English Romanticism (90-s of 18th century) is fully represented by so-called Lake School. The term appeared in 1800 when in one of the British literary magazines Wordsworth was declared the head of Lake School, and in 1802 Coleridge was named its member also. The life and work of these poets associated with the lake edge, the northern counties of England, where there are many lakes. Poets-Lakists beautifully described this province in their poems. In the works of Wordsworth, who was born in the Lake District, forever imprinted some scenic views Kemberlenda - Derwent River, Red Lake Helveline, yellow daffodils on the shores of Lake Alsuoter, winter evening on the lake Estueyt. A lot of poets and writers of those period used children to express their ideas, show the maturity and wisdom of kids and express their opinion about childhood. The main two representatives of the older generation are Wordsworth and Coleridge.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge is English Romantic poet, critic and philosopher, an outstanding representative of the "Lake School".
During Coleridge's life his importance as a philosopher and teacher overshadowed all other features of his talent, but posterity sees him primarily as a poet and writer. His Â«Lyrical balladsÂ», containing all his best poems were conceived with Coleridge Wordsworth during their youthful wanderings in the mountains, they dreamed together about the revival of English poetry.
Wordsworth chose for himself a simple area, he described everyday lives, the most ordinary events of the rural and urban life, but Coleridge, by contrast, chose the area of events and characters of fiction, or at least the romantic genre, telling about human interest and semblance of reality, which won an instinctive distrust and captivates readers.
This gradual transition from reality to pure fantasy is a basic method of Coleridge, magically acting Â«Ancient MarinerÂ», where the ordinary incidents of sea journey are gradually transformed into a wonderful area, where the natural and the supernatural merge are transformed into an indivisible whole.
All of Coleridge's ballads have the same nature of fantasy, formed of national traditions, and all his poetry is imbued with characteristic melancholy and thoughtful attitude to nature and childhood.
With Wordsworth he differed in many points, was an opponent of his theory about the identity of the language of poetry and prose, but a deep understanding of his poetry and in his article made a very interesting and original idea of the true meaning of poetry and the origin of the measured, poetic speech.
In Coleridge's philosophy of transcendentalism was a preacher, who came as a reaction against materialism. He always sought the knowledge of the basic principles of "the search for absolute". His philosophical views are set out mainly in the "Aids to Reflection", "The friend", "The Biographia Literaria" and accounted for the content of his talks in "Highgate", reproduced in part Â«Table TalkÂ».
Also popular of his works: "Aids to Reflection", "The Statesman's Manual", "Zapolya", "Sibylline Leaves", "Remorse", "Cristobel", "The Watchman", "Poems on Various Subjects Â», "Frost at midnight" other.
The poem "To the River Otter" was written in 1793 when Coleridge was just 21 years old. The Otter was the river running through the village where he was born and spent his early childhood.
The poem is about Coleridge's memories of playing by the river as a child and skimming stones. As an adult he can simply close his eyes and imagine himself amongst the scenes of his childhood. Being able to remember these pleasures helps him to deal with the ups and downs of his adult life. The poem is not really about the river at all, but about Coleridge himself and the part that memory plays in his thoughts and throughout his life. Unlike Wordsworth however, who sees his childhood memories as a source of strength and hope, Coleridge seems to find that recalling his childhood is a bitter-sweet experience because it reminds him of the 'various-fated years' that have intervened since then. The last line, with its heart-felt exclamation, 'Ah!' expresses a wish to turn the clock back, to abandon his adult cares and become once more 'a careless Child'(Coleridge. p.211).
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One of the most famous his poems is "Frost at midnight". The speaker in the poem is the author himself, and the poem is his individual evaluation of three popular topics of early English Romanticism, such as: the influence of nature on human's imagination, the connection between nature and children, and the relationship between childhood and adulthood and how they are connected in the memory of a grown-up person.
The poem "Frost at Midnight" shows the imagination in attitude to his surroundings, while the teller is talking about the past, present and future of childhood. The poem shows the teller who describes his childhood and surroundings, he mentions "film" that in this situation means soot and is a metaphor, meaning industrial revolution and the effects it made on the people at the time. Coleridge shows frost as "silent ministry" which emphasizes the glorious aspects of nature. The teller tells about his son who is in reality sitting near him and hopes that once his son will "wander like a breeze". Such words signify that Coleridge wishes his son to experience life by soaring like the wind and experience everything that the wind does.
The speaker in the poem allows the reader look into the father's imagination and mind while the father is holding his child late at night. The cottage where the speaker lives is so quiet, that his mind starts to wander. "This Calm indeed! So calm, that it disturbs and vexes meditation with its strange and extreme silentness" (Coleridge. p. 213). The father starts to lose himself in his memories of adulthood and childhood that are connected together through the adult memory. "Already I had dreamt of my sweet birthplace, and the old church tower, whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang from morn to evening, all the hot fair-day" (Coleridge. p. 251). Coleridge often uses children in his poems in order to express his thoughts.
If to talk about William Wordsworth we should say that he is a famous English Romantic poet. Names of Wordsworth and Coleridge often are mentioned together, because they are representatives of the so-called "Lake School".
Wordsworth is in England one of the most significant, or may be even the most important poet. He is the singer of the English landscape, quiet and cozy. In 1798, Wordsworth, together with Coleridge's wrote "Lyrical Ballads". Collection starts with a poem of Coleridge "Said about the old sailor," a mysterious tale about the revenge of nature to those who do not respect it.
The most famous works of William Wordsworth are "Excursion Book", "A Noble Peasant", "We are Seven", "The idiot Boy", "Social order", "Guilt and Sorrow", "Alice Fell", "Descriptive Sketches", "Christabel", "Kubla-Khan", "Prelude", "The Fall of Robespierre", "Osorio", "Remorse" , "The Thorn", "The Excursion" and others.
William Wordsworth is the poet of Nature and Man. He believed that his poetic purpose was to show the nature of man not as a refuge from suffering and commitment, but as a source of "pure passion and joy, everlasting inspiration and support, the Presentation, unless the person is able to see and hear, the eternal and universal value of the soul and the heart - love, joy, strength and compassion. This belief is rooted in childhood and youth experiences of Wordsworth.
In the best poetic works of Wordsworth clear thinking is combined with expressive accurate description glimpsed the power of feeling, but in the depiction of characters as the appearance, and the human soul is transmitted with perfect certainty.
In the work of William Wordsworth we can see the proportion of mysticism and the deification of nature, there is little moralizing and piety, but it all gets lost in his deeply lyrical and simple poetry. In the works of Wordsworth we can find different characters, like peasant, returned from service, soldiers, the peddler and the peasant's children.
Really big was the love of William Wordsworth to the people, to children and heirs of nature. In his childhood and his youth he admired rural types, especially the shepherds and "peddlersÂ», which is a peddler. Their images appear in his poetry. Wordsworth never tried dim, and his poetry is warmed with tolerance for human frailties and shortcomings. Wordsworth loved the humble and meek heart. In his poetry we can often see images of children, sometimes to manifest, in contrast to the nearby adults, vision of the heart and imagination, as in the ballad "We are Seven".
"We are Seven" written by William Wordsworth, was published in 1798 in his collection of Lyrical Ballads. The poem is considered to be one of the best his works; it is really strong and powerful.
Reading the poem, we see a churchyard and a man who meets an innocent, but thought-provoking talk with a little girl of eight years old. The man happily wonders how many sisters and brothers the girl has got, expecting a simple reply, but received much more than he bargains for (Wordsworth. pp. 5-7).
The topic of the poem is not new; it describes something that is shown in many of Wordsworth's poems: an adult person learning new things from the innocence and wisdom of a child. Everything that Wordsworth deals with is always an interesting subject that is described in non-complex way. It is the nature of the poem that makes it something special, even for the author.
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That little girl in the poem seems to know more about pain and grief than the man who is asking questions. At the beginning we see her dancing around the grave of her sister being in a state of denial concerning the death. This episode also shows her pure love for her siblings and unwillingness to let them go away from her. And her dancing around the grave of her sister lets her to feel her sister's presence for the last time. At the end the girl is asked how there could be still seven of them if her brother and sister died. The reader understands that she says this because she doesn't want to accept the fact of her brother and sister are not alive any more. Then we again see her being in a state of denial and claiming they are still there with her. The girl could speak with their spirits, imagining they were still alive with her. Probably, she sees death in a different way than the man. Maybe she doesn't let the grief take control of her life and finds positive things in it pretending, imagining they are still there with her. Anyway, many people could call this being in a state of denial.
The poem shows the innocence of child and she really knows nothing about the death. For that little girl, her dead sister and brother are still with her because she continued playing with them. The author shoed us that sometimes children understand more about life and death than adults because we don't want to accept the death of our siblings and mourn for them, while innocent children accept the changes after the death of their siblings and continue their lives in best possible way the same as that little girl from the poem (Wordsworth. pp. 15-18).
In "We are Seven" it is difficult not to feel a strong sense of emotion, but this is not the real objective of it. The real point of the poem is that it captures the importance of innocence, of looking at the world with child-like eyes. It is a gentle and beautiful reminder to look at the world afresh each and everyday.
Wordsworth wrote a lot of poems about children, and one of them is "Anecdotes for fathers". The poem explains the Romantic beliefs on childhood and purity. The author shows those great things that grown-ups can learn from children, who probably have purer minds than adults. In the poem we see a father who wants a rational and logical answer as to why his son wants one place and not another. The father becomes quite agitated and repeats his question. The need for logical reasoning is also shown in the adult characterized in "We are seven". In order to please his father, the son replies simply that, "there was no weather-cock". In this scene, the author shows us the boy with a real sense of maturity because he answers just to satisfy his father. Here reader has doubts about the role of the adult and child. The author shows that child has more intelligence than his father, however, it is spiritual type intelligence and it can't be studied from books: Sometimes the knowledge allows just accepting things, without need for rationalization.
This poem is a true representation of the type of poems to be found in the "Lyrical Ballads" both in subject theme and in the simplistic nature of its construction. It is not by a long way the best or most recognized piece in the collection, but is nevertheless a strong early poem which expresses much that Wordsworth was concerned with.
In the wider scheme of things it shows how the Romantic writers were keen on expressing the power of innocence, partly as a reaction against what they saw as the repressive nature of the Industrial Revolution, as well as the power of individuality over conformity. Adults' learning from the innocence of the child is something which is found throughout the Romantic poets, but especially in Wordsworth. The child can also be taken as a symbolic representation of hope, hope in what must have been seen as a troubling time for lovers of the natural world and the old ways of living.
Above all "Anecdote for Father's" despite its simplistic tone, or indeed because of its simple, child-like construction, is able to convey to the reader a heartfelt moment in the relationship between parent and child. Wordsworth therefore helps to remind us of those little precious moments in our lives by allowing us a brief glimpse into his world, which he captures so effortlessly in this delicate but enduring poem. After all, we see that Wordsworth and Coleridge both used children in their poems in order to express their ideas.
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