The sister of Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, is conjured into independence in the final paragraph, so as to exist as a previous self: ‘For thou are with me’, he suddenly reveals, ‘and in thy voice I catch/ The language of my former heart’. She is externalised when poetically useful; and it is by this externalisation that Wordsworth is able to avert and diminish his poem’s undercurrent doubts. ‘This prayer I make/ Knowing that Nature never did betray/ The heart that loved her’, has a contrary traction as a plea intimating des...
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...this as his essential condition, but it is worth observing that ‘recluse’ does not imply total isolation. Wordsworth’s solitude, as he left childhood, was never again to be absolute; for as consciousness developed, so did his capacity to apprehend himself, in language, so even alone he could not be alone without self-intercourse, mediated by language. His solitude was necessary for his vocation, but his vocation trespassed on that solitude; for to be a poet is to cast experience away from the self: even in egotism, isolation is disrupted by the projection of an audience.
Gil, Stephen ed. William Wordsworth: The Major Works (OUP 1984)
Hartman, Geoffrey Wordsworth’s Poetry 1787-1814 (Yale University Press 1971)
Morgan, Monique R. ‘Narrative Means to Lyric Ends in Wordsworth’s Prelude’ (Narrative, Volume 16, Number 3, October 2008, pp. 298-330)
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