In Book One of his Confessions, Rousseau, and Other Romantic poets, like Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats, stress feeling over thinking too, discuss how the Romantic poets privileged emotion over reason

The Romantic poets of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, such as Wordsworth, Shelley, and Keats, valued emotion over reason in their works. This preference for emotion is evident in themes found throughout their poetry. In particular, these poets looked toward nature for inspiration to evoke strong emotions within readers. Additionally, they often wrote about personal experience in order to create a sense of connection with the reader through shared feelings and sentiments. These techniques display how the Romantic poets privileged emotion over reason by using it as a tool to convey meaning and create an emotional response from their audience.

Perhaps one of the most famous examples of this privileging of emotion can be seen in William Wordsworth’s poem “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” where he uses his personal relationship with nature to express his intense emotions: “Thus I champ’d the grass; thus graspt the element / Through which the eternal sentiment of joy / Burst forth like lively sparks among asleep stones / And glist’ning stars did twinkle on my sight (1-4).” Here Wordsworth uses imagery associated with nature—grass and stars—to describe his joyful reaction upon revisiting a place that brings back memories from childhood. By using language evoking sensory details like grass beneath feet and stars twinkling before eyesight he creates an image that conveys vivid emotions within himself as well as within any reader experiencing it alongside him.

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