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Ability to Meditate in The Wanderer Essay

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Ability to Meditate in The Wanderer


Human beings stand alone in the ability to meditate; to think about one’s own thinking. While humans view this as a positive aspect or even a dominant trait of their own species, this same ability can lead the thinker down a dark and depressing path. Found in the Exeter Book of Old English poetry, “The Wanderer” displays how this same ability that allows humans to grasp meaning and reason, feel a purpose and use their imaginations can also resurface memories of sadness as well as remind one of better times.

In a world of overpopulation and crowds the idea of solitude is foreign. Many people take “retreats” or trips to escape and find peace with themselves. However, these same people usually return to civilization and to familiar faces. The Wanderer in the lyric poem does not have this luxury; he is alone and will never see his kinsmen’s faces again. It is not just seeing these friends, however, that pains the Wanderer the most: “There is now none among the living to whom I dare clearly express the thought of my heart.” Being able to...


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