Poetry is a style of writing many people used to express themselves during the Romanticism period. In class, we learned about poetry during the Romanticism period and also read a poem called Nature by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. This poem has many characteristics of the Romantic literary period. A few of the characteristics that stand out are emotions and the usage of a childr’s innocence. Romanticism authors focus more on emotions rather than reason and logic and that is seen throughout this poem. Another strong characteristic seen in this poem is the use of a childr’s innocence and wisdom. This also makes this poem strongly identify with the Romantic literary period.
An example from the poem in which Longfellow uses childr’s innocence is when he says, Leads by the hand her little child to bed, Half willing, half reluctant to be led, And leave his broken playthings on the floor. This part of the poem describes an innocent child being led by his/her mother to bed with mixed feelings about continuing to play with his/her toys verses going to bed. This shows the innocence of a child that can be torn from doing what they want to do compared to having their parents tell them to do the responsible thing. This first half of the poem is a perfect example of the use of the emphasis of children’s innocence and wisdom in the romantic period writing.
Longfellow also uses characteristic of emotions and feelings throughout the poem Nature. Emotions and feelings are expressed when Longfellow says So Nature deals with us, and takes away, Our playthings one by one, and by the hand, Leads us to rest so gently, that we go. At this part of the poem Longfellow is expressing how in life and nature as we get ready for death, things are slowly taken away from us to prepare us for the next stage in the cycle of life. In reading this excerpt, you get a strong understanding of how a person may feel as they get ready for death and not knowing what to expect. At this stage one doesnt have all the answers and the emotions must be very intense as you accept that death is the next phase coming. He also ties this back to the child whose toys are taken away when they are getting ready for bed.
In conclusion, Longfellowr’s poem Nature clearly shows characteristics of the Romantic literary period with his use of emotion/feelings, and childrens innocence/wisdom. Romantic authors believed that childhood is good and emotions drove them to write stories which are expressed with an emotional point of view versus logic. The Romantics believed in following intuition rather than reason, as Longfellow does throughout his poem.
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