Zach Mann
March 23, 2017
ENG 200
Dr. Jeong Oh-Kim
Wordsworth's Use of Poetry
John Keat's used his poem "To Autumn" to personify nature and use that personification to describe the feelings he had through each stage of life, or how he felt they should be personified. William Wordsworth used poetry in a very similar way. In his poem's "Rainbow" and "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" it is clearly seen how he portrays his emotions and his thoughts through personification of nature. That's what poetry is, can be, and must be to Wordsworth, a way to express himself and to observe nature for what it is and in all of its beauty. I think it was also used to help us observe what nature is and to look at happier things in what is around us.
First, we can look at what poetry is to Wordsworth. The last stanza in "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" says: "For oft, when on my couch I lie (I)n vacant or in pensive mood, (T)hey flash upon that inward eye (W)hich is the bliss of solitude; (A)nd then my heart with pleasure fills, (A)nd dances with the daffodils." It seems as if Wordsworth uses his poetry to think of better times or happier days or beautiful scenes of nature to cheer himself up. He realizes when he gets in a pensive or vacant mood and quickly thinks of the dancing daffodils. He longs for that blissful feeling from when he experienced the joy and raw view of nature. Wordsworth knew that the more vivid and descriptive words he could use the better he could put himself in that happy place. I believe he also knew how easy it is to get into a slump or go to a pensive or vacant mood, and he wanted to use his poetry to remind himself of happier times. No one likes to feel sadness or emptiness. Wordsworth could have been battling with depression, or he knew how easy it is to become complacent or vacant. But with the use of his poetry and his daydreaming, he allowed himself to take his mind away from bad thoughts and into a state of mind where he didn't have to feel down or in a more pensive mood.
"God' said I, ‘be my help and stay secure; I'll think of the Leech-gatherer on the lonely moor." This quote is from the last stanza in "Resolution and Independence." It is a longer poem that talks about Wordsworth's travels and his perception of what is going on around him. Throughout the poem he talks about what he has observed in the past and what he is observing now and how much his outlook on life has changed for the worse. He then comes upon a leech gatherer on the moor and asks him how he perseveres through such a lonely line of work. The man described how he was old and poor, but he kept pushing through the lonesome job of leech gathering. Wordsworth was taken back by this because he would have found much difficulty in such a mundane way of life. He then asked God for help and told himself that he would think of the leech gatherer when he need to persevere through hardships. Persevering is another thing that Wordsworth used is his poetry for. We all go through hardships and trials in life, and sometimes the hardest thing is to persevere. Wordsworth found inspiration in an unexpecting place.
However, poetry can be a lot more. From the poems that we read by William Wordsworth, they were mostly about nature and his emotions that were tied in with the different aspects of nature. It is clear that Wordsworth used nature to be happier. Poetry is different for everyone though. Not everyone finds bliss and joy from the greenness of the trees or the sound of rushing water in a creek bed. Some people find joy in success or in interactions with people or a moment in life. Poetry can be more like that for Wordsworth as well. If he was having a bad day, he could think back to an accomplishment he had or an interaction with beautiful woman. He could use those to describe