By kevin Krupowies, Jillian Rice, and Colin Curtain
As Wordsworth began his trek to scale mount Snowdon, he and his hiking party soon became lost “with his private thoughts: thus did we breast the ascent, and by myself was nothing either seen or heard for a while” (Page 535). Once the party entered the mist, their ascent became an inward journey. This blind adventure into the mist could symbolize Wordsworth entering the void of human imagination. Unlike Keats, Wordsworth does not drink or use drugs to enter the mind’s spirit, rather he uses his experience with nature. We found a link between this and Giacomo Leopardi’s interaction with nature and the human imagination.
The meditative state of the mist is broken on the mountain crest when the breach “through which the homeless voice of waters rose, the dark deep thorough-far have Nature lodg’d the soul, the imagination of the whole” (Page 536). Now he has broken through to the boundless beauty of nature, and in this scene Wordsworth has also opened the endless possibilities of the human imagination. Yet, this moment does not last forever, it is something that the conscience struggles to trap. Similar to Leopardi who could see “the distances, the horizons furthest reaches. But as I sit and gaze, there is an endless space still beyond” (The Infinite). Their mutual feeling is not of a loss, but a struggle. A struggle to reach the furthest bounds of the space beyond, to reach the “invisible world” and know the “highest bliss”. The power of poetry is evident here, although they can never be present with their old feelings, their inner mind can be represented through their works.
Without poetry, these experiences would be lost to the void of human imagination. While Leopardi had a firm belief in the enormous power of the human mind, even he understood that with great “immensity [his] thought sinks ever drowning, and it is sweet to shipwreck in such a sea” (The Infinite). The sweet bliss that comes along with being lost in nature. Poetry and literature are symbolic to the human imagination. Through these recorded experiences, we can also reach the furthest bounds of our imagination. These poets are quite inspiring, in that they use nature as a tool to test the boundaries of the human mind. In today’s society, we thrive off of innovation and new ideas. Perhaps we can learn from the literature of the past and create a better world today.