Poem "To William Wordsworth" By Coleridge Literature Review

Length: 5 pages Sources: 1 Subject: Literature Type: Literature Review Paper: #88304796 Related Topics: Creative Writing, Inspirational, Poetry, She Walks In Beauty
Excerpt from Literature Review :

Romantic era poets like Coleridge and Wordsworth both relied heavily on nature imagery to convey core themes, and often nature became a theme unto itself. In "To William Wordsworth," Coleridge writes accolades for his friend using many of the tropes of Romanticism, including the liberal use of nature metaphors to commend Wordsworth's creativity. The metaphors are mainly encapsulated by the spirit of springtime and the ebbing of energy that seasonal rebirth entails. Elements of nature in "To William Wordsworth" include the tumultuous transition from winter into spring, with its attendant storms, as well as the swelling and ebbing of energy that comes from the act of gestation, procreation, and birth.

In "To William Wordsworth," Coleridge shows that poetry and the act of creating poetic verse is akin to the mystery of creation itself. Coleridge uses analogies of pregnancy and birth to underscore the parallel between creative writing in poetic format and the act of procreation by human beings. For example, he writes of "momentary stars of my own birth / fair constellated foam…now a tranquil sea, / Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the moon." The word "swelling" refers not only to the swells of tides in the ocean but also to a mother's belly as she swells with child. Swelling also refers to the swelling of the creative spirit in the moments prior to the act of generation and creativity in artistic pursuits like poetry.

Moreover, Coleridge compares his relationship to Wordsworth to the natural relationship between a child and its mother in any animal species. Coleridge assumes the role of child, as he looks up to and idolizes his friend's creativity much as a child admires the mother and depends on the mother for wisdom, teaching, and sustenance. "In silence listening, like a devout child, my soul lay passive, by thy various strain." Most creatures are born weak and dependent, requiring both silence and passivity to absorb the wisdom passed...


Coleridge is thus using natural imagery related to procreation for two distinct purposes. The first purpose of birth imagery is to liken creative writing to the creation of all life on Earth. The second purpose of the birth imagery is to connect Wordsworth with the concept of motherhood and portray the poet as a mother figure in the poetic universe. As an influential poet, Wordsworth is hailed as being a generative force whose boundless creativity is an inspiration to Coleridge.

Corresponding with the imagery related to birth and creation, Coleridge also relies heavily on springtime metaphors in "To William Wordsworth." Springtime is a motif that appears regularly throughout the poem, and because springtime is the season of rebirth, baby animals, and flower buds, it makes sense that Coleridge would connect motherhood and springtime when talking about Wordsworth's poetry. Coleridge refers to the nature of "vernal growth," which is akin to the wellspring of creativity flowing from Wordsworth's pen. During the season of spring, many plants and animals experience a revitalization after the many months of winter meant their energy had been stagnant. The ice and snow of winter begin to thaw and melt, revealing currents of impassioned thought. As the ice and snow of winter thaws, rivers swell as do waterfalls. These new streams of water are metaphors for new streams of ideas in a poet's mind. Streams of new water in springtime are the "tides obedient to external force," which is of a spiritual nature.

The aquatic imagery is also linked to ebbing and flowing of creative inspiration. The "currents self-determined" reveals the collaboration between nature and humanity. A poet like Wordsworth receives "currents" of inspiration from nature and the spiritual world, but uses self-determination and free will to transform raw energy into creative output. It is this harnessing of the forces of nature that Coleridge admires in his friend, as Coleridge claims his friend is almost godlike in his "Genius" ability to generate such remarkable and "ever-enduring" verse. Once the poet participates in the act of creativity, he becomes immortal and thus transcendent: "both in power and act, / Are permanent, and Time is not with them." Poetry transcends death and time.

Natural imagery also allows for the comparison of poetry to the sheer beauty found in nature. For Coleridge, Wordsworth's poems are no less spectacular than gorgeous vistas and scenic landscapes: "Industrious in its joy, in vales and glens / Native or outland, lakes and famous hills!"…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited

Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. "To William Wordsworth."

Cite this Document:

"Poem To William Wordsworth By Coleridge" (2015, July 23) Retrieved August 11, 2022, from

"Poem To William Wordsworth By Coleridge" 23 July 2015. Web.11 August. 2022. <

"Poem To William Wordsworth By Coleridge", 23 July 2015, Accessed.11 August. 2022,

Related Documents
William Wordsworth: A Wordsmith for All Time
Words: 2667 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 76953100

William Wordsworth: A Wordsmith for All Time Harold Bloom in his book Genius: A Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds says "Wordsworth remains, in the twenty-first century, what he has been these last two hundred years: the inventor of a poetry that has been called, at intervals, Romantic, post Romantic, Modern, and Postmodern, yet essentially is one phenomenon: the replacement of subject matter by the poet's subjectivity" (377). It is

William Wordsworth As the Quintessential Romantic Poet
Words: 1337 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 90332701

William Wordsworth as the quintessential Romantic poet - a man in love with the idea of a simple life lived close to nature - that we are apt to overlook the fact that his relationship with nature is in fact a somewhat ambivalent one, or at least a complex one. While Wordsworth will always be known for the clarity and undiluted Romanticism of "Tintern Abbey," to assume that his

William Wordsworth and a Vindication
Words: 1363 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Sports - Women Paper #: 91598212

The same is true of politics, where there are few women political leaders, and the United States has never seen a woman president or vice-president. It is interesting to note that Wollstonecraft hopes women will "grow more and more masculine" in order to compete with men, and yet, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has been criticized for that very attribute, pointing to how little real difference there is between today

Politics of William Wordsworth: A
Words: 2372 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 65804002

"Buonaparte" elucidates clearly how Nature and social interaction bring about human freedom and social progress. The analysis of "Tables Turned" and "Buonaparte" brings into focus the important points that make up Wordsworth's political views. His consistent criticism of the Enlightenment, rationalization, modernization, and the French Revolution demonstrates his belief that the path towards rationalization of society has brought greater adverse rather than beneficial effects. In the texts that follow, the

Wordsworth and Coleridge's Response to Nature
Words: 1383 Length: 5 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 93894117

Wordsworth and Coleridge's Response To Nature Nature has played an important role in inspiring poets throughout time and William Wordsworth's involvement in discussing this topic is especially intriguing, considering the strong connection that the poet seems to have with the natural world. By taking into account Samuel Taylor Coleridge's perspective on Wordsworth's writings, one can gain a more complex understanding concerning the latter's feelings with regard to the environment. Wordsworth practically

Coleridge & 18 Thcent.Tradition Samuel
Words: 1523 Length: 4 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 25263539

His belief that literature is a magical blend of thought and emotion is at the very heart of his greatest works, in which the unreal is often made to seem real. Samuel Taylor Coleridge effectively freed British (and other) poetry from its 18th century Neo-classical constraints, allowing the poetic (and receptive) imagination to roam free. Works Cited Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. Kublai Khan. In The Portable Coleridge, I.A. Richards Ed.). New York: Penguin, 1987.