Wordsworth's Poetical Works

Wordsworth's References to Nature in Resolution and Independence

A Romantic poet, Wordsworth often draws from nature to describe his subjects or his narrator’s outlook on the world. In his poem “Resolution and Independence,” which employs twenty septets with an ababcc rhyme scheme, Wordsworth expresses his concerns and anxiety with a topic that can be summed up by lines 48-49, which read, “We Poets in our youth begin in gladness;/But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.” He explores this theme by juxtaposing his narrator with an old man and exploring their similarities and differences to inspire hope for himself and for poets who fear that their futures will bring “despondency and madness.” But also, in very much the tradition of Romantic poets, Wordsworth continually makes references and comparisons to nature to propel “Resolution and Independence.” This close reading will examine Wordsworth’s use of nature to evoke emotion and understanding from the reader throughout the poem.

In the first seven stanzas, as Wordsworth describes his setting and exposes his narrator’s disposition, there are numerous descriptions and references to nature. It had been a stormy night, but now, “[t]he sky rejoices in the morning's birth” (line 9) on the grassy plain along which the narrator is...

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