Top 10 Poets who Romanticized Nature
Romanticism was an era which emerged in Europe in the late 18th century partly as a reaction to the industrial revolution. This movement validated strong emotion and laid new emphasis on feelings of love, horror, awe and apprehension. This movement made its inlays into various fields like art and literature. It also made its way into poetry. While romanticizing about someone is relatively easy, it often poses difficulty to romanticize about nature. But there are some poets who are masters in it. The way they describe nature gives it a glorified yet haunting appeal. They bring forth its magnanimity and the words used by them are so poignant, that you’ll find yourself daydreaming about nature long after you have read the poems. Hate it, love it, be appalled by it or attracted to it, but you won’t be able to ignore it; such is the power these poets wield when they set about romanticizing nature.
10) Alfred de Vigny:
He was a French poet, playwright and novelist. He was well known for his plays and poems all of which were in French, though some of them have now been translated into English; one such poem being Death by a Wolf. This poem describes the hunting of a wolf pack, and thus gives nature a raw appeal. Even though nature is described in a dark manner, it still has a dangerous quality to it that manages to attract you to it. Though dealing with a sinister and a dark theme nature comes out looking beautiful and yet powerful.
9) Alphonse de Lamartine:
He was a pioneer of the French Romantic Movement and was considered one of the best French poets of the 19th century. Lamartine’s poems are often seen as the marker for the transition of poetry from the confinements of the neoclassical era to the love and passion of the romantic period. His poems were a mixture of emotions, mysticism and nature; and a classic example is the poem The Lake. This poem talks about the sufferings of the lover as he revisits the same lake a year later but sans his beautiful partner who is dying from an illness. Though the poem is melancholic it weaves a beautiful tapestry of the lake which serves as the setting. It gives the lake a dreamy and haunting quality as the poem moves from a melodious complaint to the contemplation of nature and time. This is one poem which will surely touch your heart.
8) Victor Hugo:
He was a well known French poet, novelist and a dramatist of the Romantic Movement. Well known for his works like Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, people often forget that he was a poet as well and has written some very moving and poignant poetry. One such poem is Tomorrow at Dawn, a translation. The power of the words are so strong that the poem doesn’t require much description to pull at the deepest strings of your heart. The nature too is described in a sweet simple manner which forms a contrast to the theme of the poem, thereby making it much more potent. Describing nature and deep emotions in three simple stanza’s is what makes Hugo’s poem a masterpiece.
7) Alfred Lord Tennyson:
He was a Poet Laureate Of Great Britain and Ireland during most of queen Victoria’s reign, and still remains one of the most famous British poets of all times. Though his poems aren’t directly about nature, he does often romanticize about them in his poems. The poem Break Break Break, has a very sad and melancholic theme to it and the sea thus described in the poem is a reflection of the poets inner mental turmoil and conflict. Even in the poem The Lady of Shallot, though nature does not play a central theme it has been aptly described to fit the theme of the poem. All these descriptions are so powerful and profound that all you have to do is close your eyes and an image conjures itself.
6) John Keats:
He was one of the prominent figures of the second generation romantic poets. He wasn’t well received by critics during his life time but gained a lot of recognition after his death, so much so that by the end of the 19th century he had become one of the most beloved English poets. His poems are characterized by high visual imagery and one such example is him poem To Autumn. This is a very descriptive poem high on imagery. Autumn has been personified in the poem and Keats talks about the various aspects of autumn. This poem will surely make you see autumn in a different light, and make you admire it even more.
5) Emily Dickinson:
She was a well known American poet. From a very young age she was fascinated by nature and what all it had to offer. She was very interested in botany, and a scholar Judith Farr once stated that “she was more widely known as a gardener perhaps, rather than a poet”. It’s her passion for nature which perhaps gives her an in depth understanding of nature itself. She has written a number of poems on nature like Summer shower, The Bee, Psalm of the Day etc. And in each of these poems she has beautifully expressed nature and glorified it. Her innate love for nature and artistic command on words has produced many masterpieces.
4) Percy Bysshe Shelly:
He was one of the major English romantic poets and is regarded as one of the finest lyric poets of English language. He has written many famous poems some of which include his works like Ozymandias, Ode to the West Wind and The cloud. His poem The Cloud is metaphorical as it describes the never ending cycle of nature. Through this poem he not only glorifies nature’s power and strength but uses it to inspire others to get back on their feet. He brings to light an aspect of nature which we usually don’t see and he does it in a very skillful manner.
3) Robert Frost:
He is a well known American poet who in his time received four Pulitzer prizes for poetry. Some of his well known poems include The road not taken, Fire and ice and Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening. In the latter poem Frost romanticizes nature. Though the poem has a deeper meaning underlying behind the words; at first reading what pops up is the beautiful scenic beauty that the poet has stopped to admire. In this poem Frost paints a beautiful picture of the woods on a snowy day giving the entire image a serene calming and dreamy feel.
2) Samuel Taylor Coleridge:
He was an English poet, literary critic and a philosopher who was friends with William Wordsworth. He is well known for his works like The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan. Though these famous works of his don’t deal with nature some of his lesser known works do. His poem To Nature is one such testament. In this poem Coleridge express his inner joy through his surrounding nature. He beautifully describes the leaves and flowers, the blue sky and vast fields which reflect his inner happy mental state.
1) William Wordsworth:
He was a major English romantic poet. He has written numerous poems on numerous themes but one of his most famous poems still remains The Daffodils. Who can forget the dream like quality of the poem as Wordsworth gloriously describes the daffodils and the inner sanctity and happiness it lends him. He very skilfully brings forth the beauty of nature, making you fall in love with it.