Through my study of this unit over the past semester, what I have learnt about the nineteenth century has given me a real insight into issues that are still relevant to the twenty-first century. It has also taught me the importance of slowing down and paying attention to the world around, especially in regard to environmental and social issues. With the disruption and anxieties that have grown from the recent pandemic, this has become more important than ever.
In my first blog, I discussed the concept of “wise passiveness” as mentioned by Wordsworth in his poem ‘Expostulation and Reply’. This concept helped me to reflect on what we can learn from nature, even in this digital era, if we open our minds to it. I also explored this theme further in my second blog, in which I specifically wrote a poem about noticing the beauty of the natural world and learning from it. I came to the understanding that if more people stopped to take in the wonders of the natural world, as the Romantics clearly did, perhaps we would be much more reflective as a society. In one of my peer reviews, I reacted to a peer’s blog that had a very similar take — that perhaps we ignore the natural world around us to our own detriment. Since we’ve been locked inside due to the quarantine, I’ve surprisingly spent more time than ever out in my garden, pondering nature and society… Perhaps it is the impact of focusing so intently on the poems of the Romantics.
Even now that the semester has come to an end, even after studying poets of the Victorian era… When I consider what I have learnt that applies to today’s society, my mind rushes back to the Romantics.