William Wordsworth

The universal relevance of Romantic poetry to contemporary society is embodied through the life and works of William Wordsworth, who was born in 1770. The way in which Wordsworth achieves this enduring relevance to contemporary society, is through the range of themes addressed within his poems, “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” and “The Solitary Reaper”. These relevant concerns that Wordsworth explores in these poems include that of coexistence between nature and humanity and the effects of this coexistence, and encountering a transcendental element in nature, consequently altering the ways in which humans approach and perceive the natural world.

One of the prominent ideas that Wordsworth addresses in his poetry that is of immense relevance to contemporary civilization, is humanity having the ability to encounter a transcendental element within nature, resulting in nature developing a spiritual dimension for the individual. The poem “The Solitary Reaper” explores this idea of the power of nature to have influence over an individual’s imagination, which therefore allows them to transform regular, daily events into depictions of a superior reality. Therefore, The Solitary Reaper is an example of the somewhat ordinary, directing the persona of the poem toward an ideal of completeness of being that they experience due to observing this scene in nature.  

Despite the reaper, being of complete flesh-and-blood, Wordsworth employs a recurring motif of the ‘lone figure’ to convey the idea that by the conclusion of the poem this female reaper acts as spiritual gateway from the confines of reality for the persona. Wordsworth also employs descriptive language when recounting the reaper’s singing, through “a voice so thrilling ne’er was heard”, which therefore represents the person’s captivation with the figure’s voice. Despite not being able to comprehend the song, which frustrates him conveyed through the use of rhetorical questions, in “Will no one tell...