On April 7, 1770, William Wordsworth was born near England’s Lake District. He was one of the founders of the Romantic school of poetry and worked closely with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Wordsworth became Poet Laureate of England at age 70.
I always think of Wordsworth in the spring because of “The Daffodils” (often referred to as “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”). The “hosts of golden daffodils” are finishing up in southwestern Ohio now, but we had a good season of them, even through the cold spells. I always know I’m going to survive winter when I first see their green shoots, even when they’re coming up through snow. I know just where the grandest displays are locally and make a point of driving past so I can marvel at them.
According to “A Brief Guide to Romanticism” on Poets.org, Romanticism was the largest artistic movement of the late 18th century, and it remained influential into the mid-19th century. Romantic poets “cultivated individualism, reverence for the natural world, idealism, physical and emotional passion, and an interest in the mystic and supernatural,” says Poets.org, and they championed freedom and revolution, both in art and politics. In America, Romantic poets included Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe.
Prompt: In honor of William Wordsworth, write a poem that embraces the ideals and characteristics of Romanticism. If you love daffodils, write your own tribute to them; or choose another favorite flower or one that speaks to you of spring in your region. Feel free to write in free verse if you’re not into rhymed and metered work, or even write a prose piece. After all, Romanticism was all about freedom.