Romantic Poetry of the Self or Mysticism: William Wordsworthian Manifesto of Literary Romanticism

"Romanticism is the art of presenting people with the literary works which are capable of affording them the greatest possible pleasure, in the present state of their customs and beliefs. 
Classicism, on the other hand, presents them with the literature that gave the greatest possible pleasure to their great-grandfathers."-Stendhal (1783 - 1842)French writer.Racine and Shakespeare
In the William Wordsworthian manifesto of literary romanticism it is affirmed the importance of feeling and imagination to poetic creation and disclaimed conventional literary forms and subjects. There is ,however, issued the mysticism of great sensibility and passion. Speaking of mysticism Spurgeon observes that mysticism is a personal temper rather than a doctrine, an atmosphere rather than a system of philosophy. The fundamental basis of mysticism is an unshakable belief in an essential unity, oneness or likeness in all objects of nature and human beings created by the Almighty. 


The indissoluble bond that unifies all is the divine spark or spirit that permeates through all objects of His creation. There is God in brief in all animate and inanimate objects in the universe. There is one undivided changeless life in all lives and the One Inseparable in the separable. The soul is eternal though it may leave the body at its death; and all things are but forms and manifestations of God. 

It is the Advaita philosophy of Sri Sankara that Wordsworth propounds in England of the 19th century. The most typical presentations of acosmic pantheism come from the Hindu tradition, the greatest philosophical exponent of which was the Indian philosopher Sankara . The difficulties of acosmism are visible in his system: tendencies to deny the full reality of the changing finite, to deny the reality of evil, to deny the reality of freedom and chance, and to see individual personality as ultimately unreal. When this unifying force is apprehended, naturally he begins to sympathize with all love all mankind. Such a power is called intuition often throws a mystic into a trance. This may be called ‘cosmic consciousness’ and at this hour transcendentalism he become a ‘living soul’ oblivious to earthy existence. A mystic is more than satisfied with his soul’s apprehension of cosmic unity and he naturally refuses to discuss this matter with the rationalists who believe in “reasoning”, which is infinitely inferior to “spiritualization”.




According to Wordsworthian treatise the universe is identical with God, who is the uncaused “substance” of all things. The conception of substance is not that of a material reality but rather of a metaphysical entity, the comprehensive and self-sufficient basis for all reality. like Spinozaic categorization Wordsworth should not be taken or regarded merely as a portrayed of the beauty of nature. With the power in intuition, he has been able to penetrate into the life of natural objects and find a synchronizing one in human being- divine soul permeating in all His creations. This is his mystic experience. He is able to find a manifestation God in all objects looking through them with his cultivated eye.

Walter Raleigh rightly observes that Wordsworth forever aimed at finding the Inseparable and the Changeless in all forms animate and inanimate in the universe.  

Ardhendu De

Ref:1. Lettres d’un Voyageur- George Sand -Translated by Sasha Rabinovitch
         2. The Theory of Romanticism- K. Lien

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