Seriously, try saying that 10 times fast! And now to the point…
I absolutely loved reading Wordsworth! He’s been one of my favorite poets since high school, and I think he always will be. I mean Coleridge is okay too… but, you know…
Well, reading the Lyrical Ballads this time got me thinking about why it is exactly that I like Wordsworth so much. And I think the answer has two parts to it: the content of his poems, and their style.
I noticed that the subjects of most of the poems in the collection are ordinary people – often poor farmers or homeless people. He paints a realistic and somewhat sentimental portrait of life in rural parts of the country, where people are far from the bustling cities and in harmony with nature. These are the kind of individuals that wouldn’t usually end up in poetry, the kind whose lives might be considered insignificant or boring. But Wordsworth chooses to capture exactly this kind of lifestyle and to expose the underlying depth and meaning with which these people experience their lives.
Secondly, Wordsworth directs his poem to the reader themselves in a very inviting way. He approaches you as his equal, unlike Nietzsche, for example, who claims he is so much better than everyone else and that nobody can actually understand him. Plus, in the preface, he states that he believes that there is a formula through which he can convey his experiences to people, which will cause them to mentally feel what he felt and reach the same conclusions. Wordsworth is very human in his writing – he does not strive too hard for marvelous poetic achievement, but rather writes as though to think on the page and calmly observe the world. His style is not poking and hateful, but reflective and contemplating.
I think the reason I like him so much is that I feel he was truly trying to help me in some way, rather than just insult me and tell me what I’m doing wrong. And what he says is true. In modern times, we are all so obsessed with celebrities and politicians and what they are doing at every moment of every day. We sometimes forget to appreciate the events of our own lives. I think Wordsworth was trying to tell us to slow down and take a look around us – to pay attention to who we are as individuals and who we are living our lives for.
TL;DR: I like Wordsworth.