Wordsworth

I was introduced to the poem below in Mr. Hasler's English class in high school. The first two lines stuck.

Wordsworth was an English eccentric. No surprise there; England breeds them. But he was really the first English poet to observe nature for nature's sake, something the Asians had been doing for many centuries. We have him to thank or to blame for our present tendency to equate poets with flowery descriptions of nature. "The flowers in the field, blooming in profusion..."

Wordsworth viewed nature as an end in itself, not as a superfluous luxury provided for the all-important humans, or as a flannel-board display of the diety's genius and power. He sought to study nature with open eyes, and his only larger conclusion seems to have been that such a study has spiritual benefits, benefits which are made no less valuable because they are difficult to articulate.