The poetry of William Wordsworth appeals to a modern reader, discuss why.
The poetry of William Wordsworth transcends to time to appeal to modern readers. As a romantic, Wordsworth delights in the world around him. Wordsworth’s references to nature, found in all of his poetry, is what gives his poetry a timeless quality. Wordsworth has developed a permanent relevance to the modern reader.
“Lines Composed Upon Westminster Bridge” is one of his poems that appeals to the modern reader. Wordsworth sees beauty in the city of London as well as in the fields that surround it. Wordsworth speaks of the city with the lines “like a garment wear/ The beauty of the morning; silent, bare”. This simile compares the beauty of the city to a cloak – clothing – and suggests an almost fickle attitude towards it – a person may change clothes and the city can changed back to its smokey air. Although the poem is set in a particular place and time, the scope of the poem, like the city, moves beyond its boundaries to celebrate the beauty of nature – “Open unto the fields, and to the sky”. Wordsworth is reminding the modern reader that the beauty of nature surrounds urban areas such as London.
Wordsworth’s poem “The Stolen Boat” prompts us to reflect on our experience as children through the use of an anecdote. The anecdote is relayed in a blank verse format and is delivered through simple, conversational language. Wordsworth starts the poem by blaming mother nature for coaxing him into stealing the boat – “led by her” – but, as the poem advances, he appears to be confronted by the manifestation of his guilt. “A huge peak, black and huge/ Upreared its head” transforms the landscape of the mountain into a living being, approaching Wordsworth in the boat. The light created at the beginning of the poem leaves entirely and Wordsworth uses negative words like “darkness”, “solitude” and “blank desertion” to signify the absence of light and certainty in the poem. He is uncertain of who to truly blame for his actions but Wordsworth succumbs to his own guilt and realises he has created this “troubled pleasure”. The poem’s description of how Wordsworth dealt with guilt and acceptance are what appeal to the modern reader, along with the simplicity of blank verse.