A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal, by William Wordsworth Essay

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal, by William Wordsworth Essay

Length: 1008 words (2.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the latter part of the romantic period, Wordsworth, as a part of his lyrical ballads, wrote “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal.” Although not initially intended, the poem eventually became part of a series labeled as the “Lucy Poems.” The five poems, in some way or another, address loss, separation, and their connection to nature. Recent analyses have yielded interesting results in interpreting the poem. Because of the ambiguity present within the lines, varying interpretations have emerged. As it turns out, “A slumber did my spirit seal” is not just a poem, as most people would have it, of a male speaker lamenting the loss of his love Lucy. WHAT IS MY THESIS!

The first, and most conventional interpretation of “A Slumber,” identify the pronoun ‘She’ in the third line as “Lucy,” who is the subject of the four other poems in the collection. The male speaker (the speaker of a poem must be separate from the poet, in this case Wordsworth) describes how this woman whoever she may be: mother, lover, sister, or friend; has died. The word “slumber” is a euphemism to suggest an easy passing on to the afterlife. The final two lines of the first quatrain point to the tranquility of her death, and the narrator’s consolation that she is beyond the grasp of human mortality.
In the second quatrain, the impact of her death is starting to dawn on the speaker. In the first line, by saying that she has “No motion…no force” (line 5) he is possibly reflecting on how she was in life: a woman in constant movement, one that took part in life, rather than sitting on the sidelines. Now, all of that energy has ceased to exist. The speaker, however, tries to look at the situation on the positive side. He is counting on his beliefs that there is a life af...


... middle of paper ...


...eliefs help ease the passing of a loved one, assuring themselves that there is a life after death and that it is assuredly better than this one. On the other hand, death, for some, is an escape from their troubles. They wish it upon themselves because they believe they have no other options. Then there is the most despicable act of murder. The man who believes he possesses the right to strip someone of his or her own life. Once the illusion is broken that there is only one interpretation to the poem, there is no looking back. Wordsworth forces the reader to experience the different sides of death no matter how different or repulsive they may be. However, Wordsworth writes the poem so that each experience comes from the same eight lines of metrical verse. Death, to Wordsworth, is all encompassing, no matter who is involved; eventually it reels everyone into its web.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal, by William Wordsworth Essay

- In the latter part of the romantic period, Wordsworth, as a part of his lyrical ballads, wrote “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal.” Although not initially intended, the poem eventually became part of a series labeled as the “Lucy Poems.” The five poems, in some way or another, address loss, separation, and their connection to nature. Recent analyses have yielded interesting results in interpreting the poem. Because of the ambiguity present within the lines, varying interpretations have emerged. As it turns out, “A slumber did my spirit seal” is not just a poem, as most people would have it, of a male speaker lamenting the loss of his love Lucy....   [tags: Loss, Separation, Nature]

Strong Essays
1008 words (2.9 pages)

The Female Figures Of Wordsworth 's Poem, Tintern Abbey, And La Belle Dame Sans Merci

- The female figures in Wordsworth’s poetry, such as Lucy in the Lucy poems and his sister Dorothy in “Tintern Abbey,” are essentially blank, idealized screens onto which the poet projects his musings of nature or his recollections of his past self. Although Wordsworth appears to be enraptured by and loving of these female figures, nothing of their personalities, aspirations, or words are ever revealed to the reader. The elusiveness of these women gives them a two-dimensional quality and makes the invocation of these female figures seem like its sole function in the poem is to be an instrument through which Wordsworth can convey his beliefs....   [tags: Poetry, William Wordsworth, Woman, Female]

Strong Essays
770 words (2.2 pages)

The Nature Of William Wordsworth Essay

- The Nature of William Wordsworth William Wordsworth’s contributions to literature have been instrumental to the development of what poetry is today. One of his most popular contributions was a poem in the Lyrical Ballads called “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”. This poem embodied the spirit of the Romantic Era. While many draw different thoughts and images when reading this poem, there is an underlying tone when describing nature. Analyzing the stanzas will unveil the true spiritual intent and beauty of the poem....   [tags: Romanticism, William Wordsworth, Poetry]

Strong Essays
941 words (2.7 pages)

“A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal”: Wordsworth’s Deathly Tale Essay

- In the latter part of the romantic period, Wordsworth, as a part of his lyrical ballads, wrote “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal.” Although not initially intended, the poem eventually became part of a series labeled as the “Lucy Poems.” The five poems, in some way or another, address loss, separation, and their connection to nature. Recent analyses have yielded interesting results in interpreting the poem. Because of the ambiguity present within the lines, varying interpretations have emerged. As it turns out, “A slumber did my spirit seal” is not just a poem, as most people would have it, of a male speaker lamenting the loss of his love Lucy....   [tags: Literary Analysis ]

Strong Essays
1056 words (3 pages)

William Wordsworth And Robert Frost Essay example

- One of the functions of memories is that it can provide a valuable lesson. As Cesare Pavese quoted, the richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten. Such as this is the case for two poets William Wordsworth and Robert Frost. There are many similarities and differences between the poems by William Wordsworth and Robert Frost in the method through which they use nature as their poetic theme. It is clear that both of these poets consider memory as an important role in the exploration of the natural world....   [tags: Poetry, William Wordsworth, River Wye]

Strong Essays
1901 words (5.4 pages)

Tintern Abbey, By William Wordsworth Essay

- In William Wordsworth’s Poem Tintern Abbey, the narrator returns to a beautiful place that he visited five years prior. Having been away for such a long time, as he looks down the “steep and lofty cliffs” (288) he contemplates the changes that have occurred in both himself and the landscape itself. This text can be used as an example to identify different uses of the poetic form. In the Preface to Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth addresses three main points regarding poetic principles, including: language and the subject of poetry, a poet’s role as one who challenges social norms, a poet’s relation to nature, and the reflective quality of poetic writings....   [tags: Poetry, William Wordsworth, Lyrical Ballads]

Strong Essays
1384 words (4 pages)

We Are Seven By William Wordsworth Essay

- William Wordsworth’s poem “We are Seven” from his Lyrical Ballads explores the complex theme of death through its effects on the living and the ways in which people think of those they have lost. The narrative is composed of a conversation between an adult male speaker and an eight-year-old girl, with the central focus on the girl’s two deceased siblings. Throughout the ballad, the young girl is insistent that despite two of her siblings having passed, they are seven in total – contrasting with the speaker, who is confident that the girl’s deceased siblings make her one of five....   [tags: Death, Afterlife, Life, William Wordsworth]

Strong Essays
1174 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on The Extraordinary Leech Gatherer By William Wordsworth

- The Extraordinary Leech Gatherer Wordsworth straightforwardly explained the theme of the poem in its title, Resolution and Independence. He ran into an old man, when he was wandering on the moors. To some extent, Wordsworth saw the silhouette and even the image of himself on the old leech gatherer. At the same time, Wordsworth made this old man his role model, when he thought of himself without any more ambitions and courage in the end. The spirits of this hard working and noble man would save himself from those melancholy thoughts....   [tags: William Wordsworth, Poetry, Moors, Nobility]

Strong Essays
715 words (2 pages)

Analysis Of Tintern Abbey By William Wordsworth Essay examples

- Your Life is In Your Hands (Three Messages from the Poem Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth) Exploration of the philosophical part of life has been a very common thing for poets in the past. They love to play mind tricks through their poems that have a deeper meaning of life. They always try to play it off in some simple word play, but there is actually an insanely deeper meaning to the poem. Nine times out of ten it deals with life in some way. It usually will try to teach a lesson of some sort, or maybe even give some insight to how you should treat life....   [tags: Meaning of life, Mind, William Wordsworth]

Strong Essays
1018 words (2.9 pages)

William Wordsworth Essay

- William Wordsworth William Wordsworth was born April 7, 1770, at Cockermouth in Cumberland, England. His poetry, and especially his poems on solitude, must have been heavily influenced by the death of his mother and the splitting up of his family when he was only eight (Kilvert 1). At that time, fate sent him to live in Hawkshead, England, where his teacher started him writing poetry. Wordsworth got his higher education at Cambridge, his memories of which play a part in his later poetry (Noyes 201)....   [tags: Poet Poetry Wordsworth Papers]

Strong Essays
1186 words (3.4 pages)