Initially this collection of poems was slow to attract public interest, primarily owing to the fact that Wordsworth's perception of nature was so fresh and novel in its approach that it took the readers some time to get used to it. Also the readers were really confused by the startling simplicity of these poems. Moreover the masses still owed a strong allegiance to the classical school, to be open to this new way of perceiving and interpreting the wonders of nature. 'Tintern Abbey' that appeared in the Lyrical Ballads in 1798 definitely qualifies to be a Wordsworth's masterpiece. In the poem under consideration, Wordsworth not only reveals a thorough grip over his art, but a gentle mellowing down of his poetic sensibilities. Simply speaking, the poem represents the interaction between the poet and nature. However, the dynamics of this communication between the man and the nature is not so easier to grasp without having some insight into the ethos of Romanticism and the Wordsworth's personal concept of nature.
Romanticism is a broad and comprehensive term that marks the sum total of a whole range of changes that appeared in the European art and literature in the late 18th century (Ousby 1994). Romanticism represented a discernable shift in the sensibilities of the poets of that age. This literary movement was totally averse to neoclassicism and rationalism and had a mind of its own (Ousby 1994). Romanticism believed in breaking away with the rules and the conventions of the yore (Ousby 1994). It laid stress on the intensity of feeling, sincerity of emotions and a free flowing and natural poetic diction (Ousby 1994). A single most evident attitude that makes Romanticism stand apart from other ages is its strong sense of individualism (Ousby 1994). In fact the Romantic poets did not shy away from donning the garb of a prophet and a seer. One special aspect of the English Romanticism was its belief that each and every poet was endowed with a mission. It believed in giving a free hand to imagination and fantasy and vehemently rejected all forms of social, political and literary constraints. Wordsworth was definitely a progenitor and recipient of this revolutionary legacy and his approach towards nature and its beauty was in no way demanding in such attitude and mindset.
Wordsworth's approach towards nature discernibly stands apart from the other Romantic poets of the age like Byron, Shelley, Keats and Coleridge (Daiches 2000). Unlike the other poets, Wordsworth deifies nature in his poems to the extent of intellectualizing it (Abrams 2000). While doing so he unintentionally qualifies to be called the prophet of nature. Though Wordsworth certainly touches upon the beautiful aspects of nature in his poems like' Tintern Abbey', while doing so he in no way denies the inner significance and relevance that nature holds for the entire mankind. The poems like 'Tintern Abbey' undoubtedly reveal that Wordsworth's love and admiration for nature was not an isolated and spontaneous phenomenon that stood segregated and confined to a particular period in his life, but was in fact an evolutionary process that grew and developed after passing through successive