Romanticism, though when said is thought to coincide with romance, is not entirely what romanticism was all about during the 16th century when it was flourishing. Romanticists were enveloped in love, yes, but they wanted to bring out the beauty and every aspect of every detail of the world in their writing. They were concerned with emotion, religion, individualism, exoticism, and most of all nature. Nature comes out very strongly in Percy Bysshe Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" and William Wordsworth's "The World is Too Much with Us." Shelley and Wordsworth's appreciation for nature was noticeable, powerful, and above all emotional. Both writers were relative in the way they wrote about the "beauties of nature" but at the same time each one has their own style of presenting nature in their works.
Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" is an ode invoking the emotion of nature's disasters. The mood is very solemn and somewhat dark in portraying the wind and all its many characteristics. In the fifth stanza of the first canto the wind is said to be a "Destroyer and Preserver." The speaker talks to the "West Wind" as if it hears him, and asks it to free him like so many of the leaves, which "Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing," and also like seeds which "each wait like a corpse within its grave, until Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow." Nature's wind is seen in those two lines and throughout the work as all powerful to the speaker. He would like to be like the leaves and the seeds but knows he can not, therefore in fifth canto the speaker says, "Make me thy Lyre" and "Drive my dead thoughts over the universe Like withered leaves to quicken a new birth!" If he can't be freed by the wind then he at least wants his thoughts and sadness to be carried away. Shelley and nature fit together in this ode to form an ominous venture of how wind can destroy and preserve many aspects of life. It is seen as an emotionally raw point of view as the speaker wants to be taken away from all of life's distress and sorrow and be brought back to happiness and joy which is thought to be spring in Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind."
Williams Wordsworth's "The World Is Too Much With Us," is wrapped up in the thought of nature as number one. Wordsworth, for one was a nature fanatic who wrote about it the most and identified with it the most and saw all beauty in nature. In this work Wordsworth saw nature versus the material luxuries of life, which he thought was destroying the alluring, charm of the untouched world. The first line "The world is too much with us" says it all. He thought that we were eradicating every precious aspect of nature through our selfish actions to make the world a so called better place. Wordsworth expresses his anger along with sadness in this poem. He sympathizes with nature. He says "It moves us not," meaning people care less that nature is dwindling down day by day. It sorrows him how the oblivious ignorance shapes the lives of the world that they don't know nature is being harmed daily. He says "I'd rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn," which means he would have rather been brought up living in an outdated religion that cherishes nature than witness the destruction of it.
Shelley and Wordsworth share many similarities in the way they carry the thought of nature as a blessing and a somewhat as a being, but they also have their differences. Both of these writers share the love of nature and depict their thought of nature by using sharp imagery. Shelley uses the leaves and seeds and wind to show his thoughts of how nature can carry us away from the world as we know it and Wordsworth wants to see nature remain unharmed and untouched by the greedy hands of those wanting satisfaction from technology and its many attributes. Both poets compare nature with our own life. These two are such nature enthusiasts that they both believe that nature is a cure all for our problems and it should be cherished as much as we cherish our own lives because it, for them, has feelings all the same. They both see nature as innocent.
Although both poets see nature in the same aspect of light, they each have their own way of relating to nature. Shelley uses a more animated depiction of nature to keep the readers reading. With his visual, kinetic, and auditory imagery he can help the audience associate with his love for nature. The winter wind from "Ode to the West Wind" is thought to describe how the speaker feels about life in general and wants nature to take him away from all of nature's demolishers. Wordsworth on the other hand sees nature as vulnerable and susceptible to our powers to ignorantly destroy nature. He uses anger to get through to his audience on a more empathetic level. He wanted his audience to see where he was coming from and relate to that.
Shelley and Wordsworth's love for nature was strong and they both tried their best to relay their feelings for nature to their audience. Shelley, seeing nature as a rescuer, even though it is capable of destruction of so much, still saw nature as saving him from sadness and the world that was evolving so rapidly around him.. Wordsworth fought for nature in all of his writings but "The World Is Too Much For Me" stood out because its strong sense of passion for nature is undeniable. Both of these works were written by men that cherished their generation and sought out the beauty in all aspects of the world especially in nature. You can feel the emotion that is embarked in both Shelley's "Ode To The West Wind" and Wordsworth's "The World Is Too Much For Me."