Romanticism flourished during the 1800-1850 period, and is closely linked with the democracy of the government (during the time) causing most linguists to wonder if there was a relationship that lead to kind of ‘cause and effect’ between the two. The chief subject during this period was romantic literature where a great deal of value was given to the noble nature of the common man and the values they pursued. A new kind of importance was given to individual feelings and emotions. However, it is worth noting that there was no self-styled romantic movement during the time and the writers did not call themselves romantic poets. While the main trend of the poets during the 18th century period was to see themselves as the spokesperson(s) of that period, the so called Romantics considered poetry to be the source of their unique experience.
Here are some evidences of this:
Wordsworth called poetry “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling,”
In 1833 John Stuart Mill defined poetry as “feeling itself, employing thought only as the medium of its utterance.”
In 1793, William Blake claimed that a “new heaven is begun”
There are some interesting definitions in poetry as well, for example, Wordsworth called poetry “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling”
In 1833, John Stuart Mill defined poetry as feeling itself, employing thought only as the medium of its utterance”
These evidences bring to mind that Alexander Pope once praised his father as having no knowledge of any language but the language of the heart. The poets of this period also placed great importance on the unconscious mind, the dreams of the heart, childlike view of the world and on the supernatural.
Poets in the Romanticism age
The term ‘romantic’ is believed to have been coined by the German poet Friedrich Schlegel when he described literature as “literature depicting emotional matter in an imaginative form”. Some of the famous English poets are William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Sheley, John Keats and Samuel Taylor Colredige. Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, Herman Melville, Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau are famous American poets.