Contemporary Literary Review India | Print ISSN 2250-3366 | Online ISSN 2394-6075 | Impact Factor 8.1458 | Vol. 8, No. 4: CLRI November 2021

Why Wordsworth Today?: An Introspective Study Based On Modern Life

Ujjal Mandal is a PG Scholar & Poet, (Ganguria), University of Gour Banga, Dept. of English, West Bengal, India.


Meditation is the seed of literature and it begins to sprout when knowledge and introspection come together. This present paper focuses on the deep meditation of William Wordsworth and also tries to trace the way to get the placid shadow of Nature and the spiritual enlightenment beyond the paws of ignorance. When the whole human beings are drowning in their artificial and simulated behaviour and intelligence, they take Knowledge and power consciously and letting the Ignorance go unconsciously, in this moment the whole universe needs Wordsworth. The paper also focuses on disentangling the individual's behaviour in responses to environmental shape or form and the construction of knowledge.

Keywords: Behaviorism, Psychology, William Wordsworth, Meditation, Enlightenment.


William Wordsworth is an English Romantic poet who was born on April 7, 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England. He was more than a poet who thought in a way related to the study of fundamental nature of knowledge, based on philosophical, psychological and sociological basis. He is known as "the Bard of Rydal Mount"; Rydal Mount is a house in the small village of Rydal family which is known for being the home of William Wordsworth from 1813 to 1850. Wordsworth was England's Poet Laureate from 1813 to till his death. His notable works are "The Prelude", which was published three months later of his death by his wife Mary and "Lyrical Ballads"(1798), a joint work with Coleridge. "The Prelude" contains Wordsworth's vision of his living aspect of nature. He planted the seed of love for Nature, showed respect for Nature, came adherence to Nature, the themes reflected in most of his poems. He defined knowledge as the breath of Nature and he looked into the Nature the existence of the whole human beings that is known as pantheism, (a doctrine which identifies God as the manifestation of the universe). Wordsworth is one of the most influential poets among the Romantic poets whose multifaceted figure is the spiritual and idealistic embodiment of today. On the way of our life Wordsworth shows the sparks of spiritual enlightenment and so he is justly called the entrepreneur of spiritual manifestation. The present paper tries to investigate the importance of William Wordsworth today upon looking and observing the behavioristic and busy situations of modern society whose idealistic stimuli can change the interior and exterior behaviour of modern men.

Research Objectives

The objectives of this paper are mentioned below:

a) to investigate the relevance of William Wordsworth for exploring the social behaviour through his poems and idealistic invigoration.

b) to survey the significance of spiritual enlightenment in the secular and busy world, and

c) to trace the shadow of tranquility in the artificial knowledge of modern days.

Research Questions

The flowing questions have helped the paper comprehensively:

a) Why the modern men are taking knowledge consciously and letting go the ignorance unconsciously where they should take knowledge unconsciously and ignorance consciously?

b) Why people are busy with their work where knowledge and pleasure are fissured?

c) What are the expensive machineries of Wordsworth which are required today greatly?, and

d) Why the people are seeking for the simulated intelligence or knowledge?

Research Methodology

Analytic-synthetic method is applied here for supporting this paper, and also I have followed the Behavioristic Method and Psychological Perspective for the construction of authenticity. Even many references are taken from primary and secondary data for developing this paper.

Literature Exploration

William Wordsworth is a poet having deep love for Nature who is regarded as the epitome in the initiation of Romanticism. According to Wordsworth Nature is not an inanimate object but a mighty force. Such mighty living aspect of Nature is delineated in his poetic autobiography "The Prelude" or "Growth of a Poet's Mind" where Wordsworth began to work on it when he was twenty eight. It contains 14 books and the final version was published three months later of his death in 1850. The poem is about his emotional behaviour and spiritual development in his childhood vision. The natural objects like the green fields, the blue sky, the falling fountain, the dancing daffodils all are the blessings for repose in the lap of Nature by escaping from the dull and lazy human life. In this poem, Wordsworth has discovered the unique way to the core of Nature and has made a direct communication with Nature to change the negative behaviour. He says, if the flower of love for Nature blooms once, Nature must take someone's flower of pain and replace it with a charming one. When I look at this poem to the core, it has philosophical spirit and such elements are in his following lines:

"No familiar shapes/ Remained, no pleasant

images of trees, / Of sea or sky, no colours

of green fields;/ But huge and mighty forms, that

do not live/ Like living men, moved

slowly through the mind/By day,

and were a trouble to my dreams". (The Prelude)

Nature is in Wordsworth's blood and such example is his "Tintern Abbey" or "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July13, 1798". This poem is included in a joint work of Wordsworth and Coleridge "Lyrical Ballads" (1798) and it is the last poem of the collections. In this poem, Wordsworth seeks a communication between Nature and human beings and expresses it through his own experiences and behaviour. As I already mentioned, Wordsworth is more than a poet, sometimes he is a poet or philosopher or sometimes a religious monk. When I go through "Tintern Abbey", I find an intimate relationship between two divine spirits where Wordsworth has made a divine bridge of human truth. He always seeks the soul of nature and tells the whole human beings the soothing breath of nature. Wordsworth admits, life is painful but at the same time he teaches the beings how to get rid of it by the healing power of Nature and how to change the human behaviour. In his childhood he got immense pleasure in the lap of Nature and through the experiences Wordsworth tells in time of weariness and depression, one can get comfort and healing power by turning one's soul to the Nature. He says, Nature is the only repose of the human woes and difficulties and Nature is the stimuli or response to an individual's mental and physical environment.

"... how oft

In darkness and amid the many shapes

Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir

Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,

Have hung upon the beatings of my heart

How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,

O sylvan Wye!..." (Tintern Abbey, Lines 50-57)

William Wordsworth says, Nature is the source of inspiration and stimulus and so he calls Nature as a moral agency. He is the priest of Nature and this title is suitable because he makes a sober and spiritual communion with Nature. Wordsworth identifies the Nature as the anchor of human thoughts, feelings and sentiments, the guardian of heart and the nurse of moral being. Namely the Nature has been the mainspring his religious and moral ethics:

"The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,

The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul

Of all my moral being". (Tintern Abbey, Lines 106-108)


This is a behavioral psychology that is based on conditioning by which the behavior is acquired and measured and this function happens through the reciprocal action or influence with environment. Many Behavioristic Psychologists believe that human repercussions to environmental incentive affect their actions. The modern men gradually acquire behaviour and customs through interaction with their mental environment that affects their internal shape. For example, if an English child is taught Hindi from childhood, it must forget English language and acquire the second language; here we find the environment has great impact on the human behaviour, the environment not only changes the mental behaviour but also the external traits and behaviour of the child. In other words the stimuli of the environment the humans accustomed is the response of their behaviour.

Idealism of Wordsworth

William Wordsworth is an essential guide who has influenced the human beings and their behaviour with his ideals and religious outlook. He discusses in detail the importance of human values which are required so as to enable the people to become well-acquainted with their life, rhythm, and accuracy. He says, love is an inseparable part of life and except life is a dried tree standing alone looking at the skies in vain. Love is in general a profoundly tender and mild affection for someone and a kind of behaviour. Although intimacy, passion, commitment or sacrifice are the core ingredients of love. Wordsworth's belief about love is in his realization of the emotional and imaginative aspects of life. He says, love has religious and spiritual meanings where the seed of human truth is in it. According to Wordsworth, love for Nature has the universal force is the manifestation of God where he draws the meditation between self and the universe, between self and Nature. Love has the force that enlivens all the natural souls and behaviour:

"... a sense sublime

Of something far more deeply interfused.

Whose dwelling is the light of setting sun's,

And the round ocean and the living air,

And the blue sky, and in the mind of man.

A motion and a spirit that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things". (Wordsworth, William, 92-99)

William Wordsworth has taught the human beings how to discover, how to analyse and how to understand the life with explorative mind, free knowledge and with open ended feelings.

Behaviorism on Social Busyness Today

Many researchers have found the reasons behind the busyness of modern day but to make it more precise I have tried to diagnose by showing the real life behaviors. Today a phrase is very homely that is, "I have no time" but my question is if you don't have time, "where are you spending your much time?" I've noticed "busyness" has become a daily excuse in modern life and Busyness is a kind of human behavior. Based on my research, I have come up with some aspects of behaviorism:

a) Seeking for simulated intelligence

b) Uncontrolled mind

c) Artificial love for artificial things

a) Seeking for Simulated Intelligence

A computer can execute the tasks of human beings alike but unable to feel with emotions and feelings and lacks of stimulus like humans. Today I've observed the human race is trudging through acquiring the artificial knowledge without feelings like robots that may cause harm for the generations to come.

b) Uncontrolled Mind

We have heard, "The mind is wonderful servant but terrible master", but I have examined in real life that the people have let the mind be their master and now the mind is uncontrollable like a frenzied cloud in the blue sky. The people are seeking for restlessly how to gain worldly possessions, the mind is always busy with its actions. The mind never comes down, it needs meditation profoundly; a computer needs to restart again for work well, the human mind is like that and it is possible only through meditation. Swami Vivekananda said:

"Meditation is a sort of prayer and prayer is meditation. The highest meditation is to think of nothing. If you can remain one moment without thought, great power will come. (Vivekananda, p. 4515)

c) Artificial Love for Artificial Things

Artificial means a copy of something natural. But what is an artificial love? In modern times, the person who simulates love but lacks of creativity, emotions, and intimacy. What is artificial things? The person who simulates loving nature. The people are busy for seeking the artificial things with their artificial love in vain which have led them desperate. They avoid the sincere love of Nature who never simulates love nor imitates loving behaviour.

Why Wordsworth Today?

It is true that many years have passed since Wordsworth's death but his ideal, theoretical philosophy and principles are not lost in the heaps of the past times. Today the human beings are in troubles, exasperation and in hostility, they have forgotten the existence of their souls and truthfulness. We all know society is the storehouse of moral behaviour and ethics and the bearer of new generations to come but in society worthless attitude and behaviour like busyness, impatience, anxiety, fear, etc are growing gradually day by day. Still the people are unaware of their misdeeds and conduct. The world has been dreaming to build up the lives in the Mars but no time to feel the Nature, to understand the Nature, to build up the loving relation with Nature where they are standing. The people are busy with making the artificial invention and often mistakenly think of themselves as artificial robots.

In this situation of turbulence the world needs William Wordsworth and his ideals to redress the world again. Wordsworth's childhood experience and compassionate behaviour can make the way to the lap of Nature for the modern human beings, and in harmony of Nature the world could get true love, pleasure and happiness, his ideals can change the mindset of the modernism and can replace it with moral humanistic values, and Wordsworth's pantheism must help the modern man to believe in God and compel to worship Him and the people'll find out the world of truth where they will recognise themselves, love themselves and must get back the harmonious music of life.


William Wordsworth is alive today and we can find him in his 'Daffodils', 'Floating Clouds', 'Delectable Call of Fountain', 'the Flowing Wye', Breath of Nature' everywhere. Wordsworth's quest for spiritual sparks will motivate the human beings for ages. He visualises the soul of Nature and the mind of man as living spiritual operation. The people must hold on the spiritual enlightenment as the candle of their life and after sudden spiritual manifestation the people will bloom like flowers on the feet of God. Wordsworth is the box of glittering mystery, the readers can inspire by reading his poetry, people can dispel the darkness they possess after restoring Wordsworth's religious sparkles. William Wordsworth is none other than a spiritual embodiment on whom the conscientious and spiritual spirit flare up. To end this paper, I must add the quote of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa that will also enliven the people in their lifelong behaviour and journey:

"Through selfless work, love of God grows in the heart. Then, through His grace, one realises Him in course of time. God can be seen, one can talk to Him, as I am talking to you. Many are the names of God, and infinite the forms that lead us to know Him. In whatsoever name or form you desire to call Him, in that very form and name you will see Him". (Ramakrishna)


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umUjjal Mandal is an Indian poet and a connoisseur of literature who was born on September 21, 1995 in Ganguria, Malda, West Bengal. He has two poetry books to his credit - "Ambrosia In Budding Flowers" (English), "Shobder Phul" (Bengali) which are available on Amazon. He has qualified national level SET exam in English subject in 2020 and beside having published a research paper titled "Tagore's The Golden Boat: A Critical Study in Context of Deconstruction Theory and the British Colonialism", his poetry has appeared in India and abroad in various journals, magazines, literary press, blogs and in diverse poetry of anthologies such as - 'Aulos: An Anthology of English Poetry', 'PS: It's Poetry', 'Insulation', 'I Want to Live' and others. He says, "poetry is the philosophical and spiritual combination of heart and mind".

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