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"Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red, Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O Thou who chariotest to their dark wintry bed." -Ode to the West Wind by Shelly
The Romanticists were so determined to express themselves that they began looking inward for answers. They decided Nature had such a beauty about it that that should be all they speak about. The Romanticists believed that all humans are a product of nature, obvious by the quote that they were speaking of humans, and/or leaves. All the colors of the leaves, yellow, black, pale, and red all could be human skin tones, in multitudes. Shelly was a true Romanticist.
In the Neoclassical traditions, they lived in the city, more accustomed to the faster paced life. The Romanticists on the other hand lived a country life. Full of wonder at how beautiful Nature could be. Many moved to the Lake District in England or went to live by themselves surrounded in nature. Personally I do not like being outside unless I am on the Ocean. It is either too hot or too cold, and always uncomfortable. For these people nature wasn't about rocks, grass, or any other idea of nature you might have. It was about the inner nature in everyone. Someone who has so much beauty that shines through the person as if they themselves are the sun. "Angels of rain and lightning; there are spread on the blue surface of thine aery surge, like the bright hair uplifted from the head." In Ode to the West Wind, Shelly has a terrific concept of how nature relates to humans. In these lines he speaks of the angles of rain and lightning. To me this is his way of associating the people in Shelly's life that were sad, and tempered. When he spoke of nature he knew the beauty and the harm of it. Rain can cause flood, but the beauty of it pattering on a tin roof is wonderful. Lightning is wondrous, its strong and tactful, but can kill in an instant, or light your home on fire. The danger of these descriptions is almost just as beautiful as them themselves. "As thus with thee in prayer in my sore need. Oh! Lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud! I fall upon the thorns of life! I bleed!"-"Ode to the West Wind" Romanticists used nature as an excuse to escape from everyday life. Shelly felt trapped. "Lift me as a wave" Carry me! Begging to be carried away, because life is so miserable, so depressing that being carried away from the "thorns" of life would make him happy. One of the best parts about the Romanticists fascination with nature's beauty is that everyone could express themselves with this type of subject. The homeless could be sitting on their curb speaking of how the rain pours on the rock that sits by the trash can. This rock could be their only safe haven, the only protection they have from trouble. Children could understand how the wind can carry words away with no more than a breeze. The Romanticists though began in feeling. Before picking up a pen to write a poem they had to feel that there was something in nature to write about at that moment. In Keats' "To Autumn" he says, "And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core." Keats' felt that as he was watching the fruit fall from the tree's he realized that once the fruit is just ripe enough, just good enough, the tree lets go. This reminds me of how humans teach their kids. They give and give until their "fruit" is ripe and ready to move on. To venture even further I would say that children sometimes "fall" before they are ready, due to outside circumstances. Maybe a harsh wind comes and blows them off of the tree; someone picks up that fruit and tries it. The fruit is bitter because all of the "love and affection" it needed was taken away from it. In "To Autumn" Keats says,
"Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store? Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find thee sitting careless on a granary floor, they hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep, drowsed with the fume of poppies, while they hook spares the next swath and all its twined flowers: and sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep steady thy laden head across a brook; or by a cyder-press, with patient look, thou watchest the last oozing hours by hours."
Nature is everywhere, so it's obvious that beauty is everywhere, even in unexpected places. Keats statement "Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?" Means who hasn't seen beauty in all situations, especially when out and about. He goes on to tell all the places you might find beauty during autumn, on the floor, asleep with flowers, by a brook, or anywhere in nature. He is trying to help others realize that nature isn't all about moss, trees, and the elements. It is about strength and human wonder. Everything in nature is just as complex as a body. A lot of little things go into creating both nature and humans. We should be grateful for what has been given us so graciously to look at for all our lives.
The Romanticism era was full of inspirational writing and authors just like Shelly and Keats. The era helped open the eyes of many people who took advantage of the Earth and all the things surrounding them. I wish the Romantic era would come back and teach people now a day just how important keeping the grass and trees and all of nature clean. Although the worshiping of nature was a little farfetched for me, it reminds me of my grandmother. She was full blooded Indian and swore that if nature wasn't around us, we couldn't live. I believed her because it's a proven fact that the trees create oxygen for us to breath and takes carbon monoxide out of the air so we don't die. If helping us survive isn't enough to appreciate nature I am not sure what is. The Romantics will live on forever in my heart, their works inspire me to remember to enjoy and be glad that the beauty of nature lives within me.