Poetry of the Romantics


Poetry of the Romantics

The Romantic poets ushered in a new era of poetry. Their poetry was characterised by vivid and colourful language, evocative of elevating themes and ideas.

William Wordsworthhad a great love and intimacy with nature. He was able to capture the vivid joy of experiencing nature at first hand.

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.

by: William Wordsworth
Extract from: I Wandered Lonely as a cloud


This is an extract from William Blake’s “Songs of Innocence” – William Blake had the capacity to express poetry of great innocence and joy such as this extract below.

Infant Joy

 “I have no name:
I am but two days old.”
What shall I call thee?
“I happy am,
Joy is my name.”
Sweet joy befall thee!

By: William Blake
From: Infant Joy

However Blake’s poetry also has profound depth and a strong mystical element.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

By: William Blake
From: The Tyger

Another leading Romantic poet was John Keats. The opening lines of this poem offer an immortal mantra and are a testimant to the power of poetry

Rose small

A Thing of Beauty

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

By: John Keats
From: A Thing of Beauty

Percy Shelley was something of an outsider. His professed atheism led him to be expelled from Oxford University. He experienced much suffering and loss, which gave him a melancholic view of life. However his poetry was infused with a radical individualism which offered a mixed message of hope through suffering.

“To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than Death or Night;
To defy Power, which seems Omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope, till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change nor falter nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan! is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire and Victory.”

From: Prometheus Unbound


“O, Wind,
If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”


Commentaries on Poems by Richard Pettinger


Photo Copyright Top: Pavitrata Taylor