Life Beyond The Pages

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It is a foolish thing to believe that books and formal education are worthless to the progress of man, but it is an equally foolish thing to believe that the entirety of human history and life can be contained within the dusty pages of a hardcover textbook. William Wordsworth’s “The Tables Turned” provides a vivid world of natural imagery combined with an impassioned attitude and neatly structured stanzas that strongly advocate the understanding of the brilliance of life without books, while Howard Nemerov generates a whimsical tone of mockery throughout the nonsensical singular stanza of “To David, About His Education”. While “The Tables Turned” by William Wordsworth and “To David, About His Education” by Howard Nemerov are significantly different in structure, imagery, and tone, both poets mutually advocate the theme of how all of life cannot be encapsulated within the textbooks of traditional education. Although the two poems “The Tables Turned” by William Wordsworth and “To David, About His Education” by Howard Nemerov are significantly different in structure, both Wordsworth and Nemerov support the theme of how life cannot be completely enclosed within the pages of academic textbooks. Wordsworth’s structure of “The Tables Turned” contains a series of eight neatly categorized quatrains, each systematically emphasizing on the incompleteness of education through a different descriptive focus. The quatrains in “The Tables Turned” also alternate between eight and seven syllables throughout the poem, marking a contrast between the traditional meters of academically conservative poems with a fresh and lively structure, which is further manipulated by the natural alternating rhyming scheme kept consistent throughout the poem: Word... ... middle of paper ... ...epiction of literary ridicule and gentle mockery. Nemerov’s usage of a whimsical tone of gentle mockery is created to support the theme of how life cannot be singularly contained within the academic world. Although both “The Tables Turned” by William Wordsworth and “To David, About His Education” by Howard Nemerov advocate the theme of how all of life cannot be contained within pages of traditional education, they hold significant differences in structure, imagery, and tone. Whether it is a focus on nature imagery or an intelligent criticism shrouded in capricious tones, both Wordsworth and Nemerov in their respective poems ironically advocate how education goes beyond the world of literary works. Despite the wonders poets work in the lives of scholars and students alike, the realms of old dusty hardcovers can only capture a few fragments of the brilliance of life.

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