English IV – Unit 9: Romantic and Victorian Poetry
Project: 19th-Century Views Oral Report
William Wordsworth’s poem, “Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting The Banks Of The Wye During A Tour. July 13, 1798” (also known as simply, “Tintern Abbey”), was included in the book Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems. This was a joint effort between himself and author Samuel Taylor Coleridge. “Tintern Abbey” remains one of Wadsworth’s most famous poems, and at its printing, the book was completely sold out in two years. The name of the poem reflects the inspiration Wadsworth felt upon visiting the ruins of an old church called Tintern Abbey, with his sister Dorothy.
During his young adulthood, Wadsworth took numerous walking tours throughout the mountains of Europe, and came to feel that nature had special soothing and healing powers. He would experience a renewal of his spirit when he would connect with nature. Wordsworth uses imagery that creates a feeling a beauty and serenity. For example,
“…These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door…” (11-17)
Wordsworth expresses his reverence for the natural world, and communicates the importance of nature to him personally. In one eloquent passage, he repeatedly describes the countless ways nature has helped him during difficult times,
“…These beauteous forms….I have owed to them
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the bl...
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...n’ were being discussed, and there was confusion in the contrast between God and nature. In stanza 56, Tennyson maintains that nature is cold-hearted,
“"So careful of the type?" but no.
From scarped cliff and quarried stone
She cries, "A thousand types are gone:
I care for nothing, all shall go.”
Both Wordsworth and Tennyson consider the universal themes of God, nature and spirituality in their poetry. Wordsworth clearly has a deep connection and affection for nature, while Tennyson is struggling with his faith and what he perceives as ‘nature’s cruelty’.
"In Memoriam A.H.H.." by Lord Alfred Tennyson. N.p., n.d. Web. . .
Wordsworth, William. The Complete Poetical Works. London: Macmillan and Co., 1888; Bartleby.com, 1999. www.bartleby.com/145/. [Date of Printout].
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Have you noticed that we feel a powerful desire to connect with nature during difficult times? Whether we are injured, depressed or sad our inclination towards nature increases. Patients in hospitals recover faster if they are in a room with a nice view. Why? Because nature is so pure and powerful that can restore our spirits and heal our bodies and minds. The beauty of nature has been praised in art, poetry, writings and films. Naturalists, poets and writers have documented the many benefits of spending time in nature. "Calypso Borealis" by Muir and "I wandered Lonely as a Cloud" by Wordsworth are two great pieces of literature where our hearts are filled with an indescribable emotion. John Muir and William Wordsworth express their relationship
When thinking about nature, Hans Christian Andersen wrote, “Just living is not enough... one must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower.” John Muir and William Wordsworth both expressed through their writings that nature brought them great joy and satisfaction, as it did Andersen. Each author’s text conveyed very similar messages and represented similar experiences but, the writing style and wording used were significantly different. Wordsworth and Muir express their positive and emotional relationships with nature using diction and imagery.
John Muir and William Wordsworth use diction and tone to define nature as doing a necessary extensile of life. Throughout Muir’s and William’s works of literature they both describe nature as being a necessary element in life that brings happiness, joy, and peace. Both authors use certain writing techniques within their poems and essays to show their love and appreciation of nature. This shows the audience how fond both authors are about nature. That is why Wordsworth and Muir express their codependent relationship with nature using diction and tone.
Toynton, Evelyn. "A DELICIOUS TORMENT: The friendship of Wordsworth and Coleridge." Harper's. 01 Jun. 2007: 88. eLibrary. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.
‘It is often suggested that the source for many of William Wordsworth’s poems lies in the pages of Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal. Quite frequently, Dorothy describes an incident in her journal, and William writes a poem about the same incident, often around two years later.’ It is a common observation that whilst Dorothy is a recorder – ‘her face was excessively brown’ – William is a transformer – ‘Her skin was of Egyptian brown’ . The intertextuality between The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals and ‘I wandered lonely as a Cloud’ allows both Dorothy and William to write about the same event, being equally as descriptive, but in very differing ways. Dorothy writes in a realist ‘log-book’ like style, whereas William writes in a romantic ballad style. This can be very misleading, as it gives William’s work more emotional attachment even though his work is drawn upon Dorothy’s diary, which in its turn is very detached, including little personal revelation. When read in conjunction with William’s poetry, Dorothy’s journal seems to be a set of notes written especially for him by her. In fact, from the very beginning of the journals Dorothy has made it quite clear that she was writing them for William’s ‘pleasure’ . This ties in with many of the diary entries in which she has described taking care of William in a physical sense. In a way this depicts the manner in which William uses his sister’s journal to acquire the subject of his poetry, which makes it seem as though Dorothy is his inspiration.
As a result of Wordsworth's many memories of Tintern Abbey, his life appears to be happy. The recollection of Tintern Abbey influences Wordsworth to acts of kindness and love. Likewise, Wordsworth is influenced from the natural surroundings of Tintern Abbey. Bloom said, "The poet loves nature for its own sake alone, and the presence of nature gives beauty to the poets mind…" (Bloom Poetry 409). Nature inspires Wordsworth poetically. Nature gives a landscape of seclusion that implies a deepening of the mood of seclusion in Wordsworth's mind. This helps Wordsworth become inspired in his writings while at the same time he is inspired in his heart (B...
Wordsworth and Hopkins both present the reader with a poem conveying the theme of nature. Nature in its variety be it from something as simple as streaked or multicolored skies, long fields and valleys, to things more complex like animals, are all gifts we take for granted. Some never realize the truth of what they are missing by keeping themselves indoors fixating on the loneliness and vacancy of their lives and not on what beauty currently surrounds them. Others tend to relate themselves more to the fact that these lovely gifts are from God and should be praised because of the way his gifts have uplifted our human spirit. Each writer gives us their own ideals as how to find and appreciate nature’s true gifts.
Rush, Tayna. "The Prelude: William Wordsworth - Summary and Critical Analysis." BachelorandMaster.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2014. .
William Wordsworth is a British poet who is associated with the Romantic movement of the early 19th century. Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770, in Cockermouth, Cumberland, England. Wordsworth’s mother died when he was seven years old, and he was an orphan at 13. This experience shapes much of his later work. Despite Wordsworth’s losses, he did well at Hawkshead Grammar School, where he firmly established his love of poetry. After Hawkshead, Wordsworth studied at St. John’s College in Cambridge and before his final semester, he set out on a walking tour of Europe, an experience that influenced both his poetry.
Woof, R.S. Wordsworth’s Poetry and Stuarts Newspapers: 1797-1803. 1962. University of Virginia. 4 March 2003.<http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-sb? id=sibv015&images=bsuva/sb/images&data=/texts/english/bibliog/SB&tag=public∂=10&division=div>.
This stanza is dominated by the Christian ideas of being made in God’s image. However, man does not remain in that image. His “birth is but a sleep and a forgetting,” and as his life progresses he moves farther and farther from the glorious ideal he had in childhood. Throughout much of his poetry, Wordsworth asserts that in childhood, one can “see” but is unaware of that ability, whereas in adulthood, one cannot see and is painfully aware of his situation. It is only through conscious thought and reflection that man can begin to find a state similar to his original one. The question, then, is why children, who take nature for granted, are given the opportunity to connect so closely with it. It would appear that the fact that children do not realize what they have is the very reason for their having it. Thus, the losing of that knowledge with age allows man to feel the loss, and forces him to find a solution, just as Wordsworth has done. In stanza ten, he tells the reader that the true essence of humanity is the ability to feel pain and have memories of better times. Through these painful or happy memories, man is able achieve the philosophical state of mind, and in the end to love nature “even more” than he did in youth.
To conclude, William Wordsworth uses form and syntax and figurative language to stress on his mental journey, and to symbolize the importance of the beauty and peace of nature. In my opinion, the poet might have written this poem to show his appreciation towards nature. The poem has a happy mood especially when the poet is discussing the daffodils. In this poem the daffodils are characterized as more than flowers, but as humans “fluttering and dancing in the breeze” (line 6). In addition, the poet mentioned himself to be part of nature since nature inspires him to write and think. Therefore, the reason that the poet wrote this poem was to express the feeling of happiness in his mental journey in nature.
Overall, Wordsworth's use of symbolism in his poem illustrates a sense of the conviction and deep feelings he had toward nature; however, he sees himself as having insight to the problems. The materialistic progress being made by mankind is not without consequence, and the destruction of the environment by mankind's shortsightedness will continue as Wordsworth has foreseen. The change hoped for by the author will not come as a result of an initiative by humanity, but as an uproar by mother nature in the form of a battle. This battle will bring forth a victory for the environment and stimulate a re-birth for the world.
William Wordsworth has respect and has great admiration for nature. This is quite evident in all three of his poems; the Resolution and Independence, Tintern Abbey and Michael in that, his philosophy on the divinity, immortality and innocence of humans are elucidated in his connection with nature. For Wordsworth, himself, nature has a spirit, a soul of its own, and to know is to experience nature with all of your senses. In all three of his poems there are many references to seeing, hearing and feeling his surroundings. He speaks of hills, the woods, the rivers and streams, and the fields. Wordsworth comprehends, in each of us, that there is a natural resemblance to ourselves and the background of nature.