Romanticism, a philosophical, literary, artistic and cultural era which began in the mid/late-18th century as a reaction against the prevailing Enlightenment ideals of the day (Romantics favored more natural, emotional and personal artistic themes), also influenced poetry. Inevitably, the characterization of a broad range of contemporaneous poets and poetry under the single unifying name can be viewed more as an exercise in historical compartmentalization than an attempt to capture the essence of the actual ‘movement’.
Poets such as William Wordsworth were actively engaged in trying to create a new kind of poetry that emphasized intuition over reason and the pastoral over the urban, often eschewing consciously poetic language in an effort to use more colloquial language. Wordsworth himself in the Preface to his and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads defined good poetry as “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” though in the same sentence he goes on to clarify this statement by asserting that nonetheless any poem of value must still be composed by a man “possessed of more than usual organic sensibility [who has] also thought long and deeply;” he also emphasizes the importance of the use of meter in poetry (which he views as one of the key features that differentiates poetry from prose). Although many people stress the notion of spontaneity in Romantic poetry, the movement was still greatly concerned with the pain of composition, of translating these emotive responses into poetic form. Indeed, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, another prominent Romantic poet and critic in his On Poesy or Art sees art as “the mediatress between, and reconciler of nature and man”. Such an attitude reflects what might be called the dominant theme of Romantic poetry: the filtering of natural emotion through the human mind in order to create art, coupled with an awareness of the duality created by such a process.
For some critics, the term establishes an artificial context for disparate work and removing that work from its real historical context" at the expense of equally valid themes (particularly those related to politics.)
A summary of Romanticism in 's Europe (1815-1848). Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of Europe (1815-1848) and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Alessia Vinciguerra's insight:
This website gives a very indepth; however brief and comprehensive insight to the Romantic era
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