The strong interest in nature, the humble life the preference for the country over city, and the focus on the first persons are all features of Romantic poetry found in this poem. “Expostulation and Reply” is written in the first person and in simple language. The poem seems conversational in style, making it more appealing to the reader. Even though the story is argumentative in wording, the tone is not angry or even serious. It is rather relaxed. This is probably due to the fact that we should approach it with an open mind and without bias. This poem incorporates
Wordsmith’s thought that nature was the ultimate teacher. As William was pondering on a stone, Matthew asked him, “Where are your books? That light bequeathed to beings else forlorn and blind. ” Matthew was wanting to know why he was wasting time, when he could be studying books. Matthew stressed the point that books were left by our ancestors for our learning. Matthew goes on to say, ” You look round on your mother earth, as if she for no purpose bore you;” Clearly, Matthew is misinterpreting the situation. William is looking at mother earth with a purpose to learn.
He finds that you can learn better by observing nature than reading another’s thoughts on the subject. William is not accepting somebody else’s word of knowledge, but he’s discovering his own knowledge. I think of William as a symbol of individual thinking (a pioneer), and Matthew as a symbol of society’s restriction because he chooses to restrain his knowledge to words on paper. Next, William replies to Matthew. William makes the point that there are things we see that we should pay close attention to because there might be some spirit trying to communicate. In this case, nature is communicating.
William says, “That nothing of itself will come, but we must still be seeking? ” When nature is ready to teach us, then we better be listening already. Really I think that in the poem, there is a sense that nature is constantly teaching. It’s Just that we aren’t hearing things. Actually, we are hearing things but choosing to ignore the words. After all, Nature did give us ears to listen with, but it is our choice not to listen. Maybe we all have choices, and it’s by listening to the details that we make the right choice. I also want to mention Wordsmith’s other poem, “The Tables Turned. Unlike this poem where one person says pick up a book to learn, the speaker says put down your book to learn. The poem says, “Let Nature be your teacher. ” It later goes on to say, “—-We murder to dissect. ” I think that meaner that when men get curious about something, we destroy its natural beauty Just to learn about it. “The Tables Turned” helped answer questions posed by “Expostulation and Reply” in Wordsmith’s own thoughts and views. When you add the vivid language of “The Tables Turned,” it ally gives a more colorful, vivid sense of nature and what it has to offer.
There’s a lot of sensory perception described in the poem. The poem goes on to describe nature as something pure and innocent. I think that’s why Matthew didn’t understand Williams action; he wasn’t in touch with the innocence of nature anymore. Modern society has taken over and left its mark on the culture. Maybe William knew that modern life would overrun nature, and he would learn all that he could before it was gone. After all, no good thing can last forever. These poems reveal a lot about humanity, even though the subject was nature.
Human will can drive us to excel in certain aspects. When it comes to learning from the nature around us, we can see or hear something, but it is against our will to learn from it. We, as humans, are drawn to whatever distracts our attention. When it comes to a more passive distraction, we don’t notice it. If we did, we’d be smarter because of it. This poem is definitely an example of Romanticism because of the humble, peaceful learning that is happening in the poem. It’s very different room the way that learning is defined, even today.