I remember the first time I read Wordsworth.
I was in class at the university, unaware that I had already stumbled upon the man’s words as I was growing up, and we were studying Romantic poetry. Specifically, we were reading Wordsworth’s “Preface to the Lyrical Ballads.”
For a while, I had always associated the word “romantic” with falling in love with a partner, intimacy, dates, unconditional love, connection, and so on. Little did I know that that word had a much deeper meaning and several dimensions.
And that’s when I truly started connecting with the word “Romantic.”
I never really considered myself the typical romantic in that I cried in romance movies, or swooned when two people fell in love (I mean good for them, but you get the point), or even watching “The Notebook” over and over again. Even when I tried to write romance novels to test myself if I’m capable of doing that, I ended up with either a thriller or a fantasy novel that did include romance, but the main focus shifted from the relationships to the fast-moving plot.
Yes, I read and watched “Bridgerton” and pretty much enjoyed it though it’s a romance series, but my main focus was enjoying the 19th century aesthetic. Yes, I read and watched “Pride and Prejudice,” but more so because I fell in love with Elizabeth’s character.
And then, I started connecting with the word “romantic” but on a different level.
I love love, but I also found a different type of romance in other things. I fell in love with words, imagination, emotions, sensitivity, nature, going back to childhood memories and feeling like a child again. And more. And more.
And that’s why I was extremely fond of Romantic literature. That’s why I felt my heart beat with excitement and happiness whenever I read Wordsworth’s poetry.
The characteristics of Romanticism are:
>> celebration of nature (my major source of peace)
>> focus on the individual and spirituality (I don’t believe I could ever truly live without my spirituality)
>> celebration of isolation (which we all need every now and then)
>> interest in the “common” people (and I am one of them)
>> personalization (treating and talking about nature as a living being)
Although there is a particular part about Romanticism that I do not connect with (the one that treats women as pure beings who can rarely if ever be touched), most of what Romanticism represents fills my heart with poetic joy.
A few days ago, I read an article by one of our authors where he mentioned Wordsworth, and it revived my passion for poetry and connecting with the gentle part of my soul.
So, here’s a poem by one of my favorite poets to fill your heart with pure and childlike elation in nature:
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
Are you romantic or a romantic? Or are you both?