This is one of the most important ideas of “Tintern Abbey. ” The speaker of this poem has discovered, in his maturity, that his appreciation of natural beauty has allowed him to recognize a divine power in nature. Wordsworth comes up with this idea in “Tintern Abbey,” and then really explores and develops it. Nature means several things in the context of this poem: it can mean 1) physical nature, or 2) it can mean the sense of unity or connection between everything, or 3) it can refer to a divine “presence” in Nature, like Mother Nature. Memory and the Past Memory’s a funny thing in the world of “Tintern Abbey.
” It works like a portable scrapbook of all of your most amazing experiences with Nature. Having a bad day? Close your eyes and flip to page 44 of your mental scrapbook to call up the image of that visit to the banks of the river Wye! You’ll feel better in a jiffy.
Part of the process of maturing into the kind of person who can sense the divine “presence” in nature is knowing when and how to access your memory. Awe and Amazement In “Tintern Abbey,” the speaker’s reaction to nature is one of awe. He finds the view from the banks of the river Wye to be jaw-dropping-ly, breathtakingly, almost indescribably beautiful.
His breath, at one point, is actually taken away. And once he has his epiphany about the divine “presence” in all of nature, his awe is turned to a kind of piety. He becomes a devout worshipper of Mother Nature. Transformation “Tintern Abbey” is a nature poem, and nature is always full of transformations: fruit ripens, seasons change… you get the picture. The poem describes the transformation between the young, boyish “William” and the more mature speaker of the poem; it also imagines the future transformation that will change the present Dorothy (Wordsworth’s sister) into someone who will have the speaker’s deep appreciation for Nature.
The Beneficial Influence of Nature Throughout Wordsworth’s work, nature provides the ultimate good influence on the human mind. All manifestations of the natural world—from the highest mountain to the simplest flower—elicit noble, elevated thoughts and passionate emotions in the people who observe these manifestations. Wordsworth repeatedly emphasizes the importance of nature to an individual’s intellectual and spiritual development. A good relationship with nature helps individuals connect to both the spiritual and the social worlds.
As Wordsworth explains in The Prelude, a love of nature can lead to a love of humankind. In such poems as “The World Is Too Much with Us” (1807) and “London, 1802” (1807) people become selfish and immoral when they distance themselves from nature by living in cities. Humanity’s innate empathy and nobility of spirit becomes corrupted by artificial social conventions as well as by the squalor of city life. In contrast, people who spend a lot of time in nature, such as laborers and farmers, retain the purity and nobility of their souls. The Power of the Human Mind
Wordsworth praised the power of the human mind. Using memory and imagination, individuals could overcome difficulty and pain. For instance, the speaker in “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” (1798) relieves his loneliness with memories of nature, while the leech gatherer in “Resolution and Independence” (1807) perseveres cheerfully in the face of poverty by the exertion of his own will. The transformative powers of the mind are available to all, regardless of an individual’s class or background. This democratic view emphasizes individuality and uniqueness.
Throughout his work, Wordsworth showed strong support for the political, religious, and artistic rights of the individual, including the power of his or her mind. In the 1802 preface to Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth explained the relationship between the mind and poetry. Poetry is “emotion recollected in tranquility”—that is, the mind transforms the raw emotion of experience into poetry capable of giving pleasure. Later poems, such as “Ode: Intimations of Immortality” (1807), imagine nature as the source of the inspiring material that nourishes the active, creative mind. The Splendor of Childhood
In Wordsworth’s poetry, childhood is a magical, magnificent time of innocence. Children form an intense bond with nature, so much so that they appear to be a part of the natural world, rather than a part of the human, social world. Their relationship to nature is passionate and extreme: children feel joy at seeing a rainbow but great terror at seeing desolation or decay. In 1799, Wordsworth wrote several poems about a girl named Lucy who died at a young age. These poems, including “She dwelt among the untrodden ways” (1800) and “Strange fits of passion have I known” (1800), praise her beauty and lament her untimely death.
In death, Lucy retains the innocence and splendor of childhood, unlike the children who grow up, lose their connection to nature, and lead unfulfilling lives. The speaker in “Ode: Intimations of Immortality” believes that children delight in nature because they have access to a divine, immortal world. As children age and reach maturity, they lose this connection but gain an ability to feel emotions, both good and bad. Through the power of the human mind, particularly memory, adults can recollect the devoted connection to nature of their youth. SUMMARY
“Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” was written in July of 1798 and published as the last poem of Lyrical Ballads, also in 1798. At the age of twenty-three (in August of 1793), Wordsworth had visited the desolate abbey alone. In 1798 he returned to the same place with his beloved sister, Dorothy Wordsworth, who was a year younger. Dorothy is referred to as “Friend” throughout the poem. Often the poem is simply called “Tintern Abbey. ” The abbreviated title is effective for clarity’s sake, but it is also misleading, as the poem does not actually take place in the abbey.
Wordsworth begins his poem by telling the reader that it has been five years since he has been to this place a few miles from the abbey. He describes the “Steep and lofty cliffs,” the “wild secluded scene,” the “quiet of the sky,” the “dark sycamore” he sits under, the trees of the orchard, and the “pastoral farms” with “wreaths of smoke” billowing from their chimneys. In the fourth stanza, Wordsworth begins by explaining the pleasure he feels at being back in the place that has given him so much joy over the years.
He is also glad because he knows that this new memory will give him future happiness: “in this moment there is life and food / for future years. ” He goes on to explain how differently he experienced nature five years ago, when he first came to explore the area. During his first visit he was full of energy. Wordsworth quickly sets his current self apart from the way he was five years ago, saying, “That time is past. ” At first, however, he seems almost melancholy about the change: “And all its aching joys are now no more, / And all its dizzy raptures. ” Over the past five years, he has developed a new approach to nature.
As a more sophisticated and wiser person with a better understanding of the sad disconnection of humanity, Wordsworth feels a deeper and more intelligent relationship with nature. Wordsworth is “still / A lover of the meadows and the woods,” but has lost some of his gleeful exuberance. Instead, he views nature as the “anchor of [his] purest thoughts, the nurse, / The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul / of all my moral being. ” Analysis Published in 1798 in Lyrical Ballads, this poem is widely considered to be one of Wordsworth’s masterpieces. It is a complex poem, addressing memory, mortality, faith in nature, and familial love.
The poem’s structure is similarly complex, making use of the freedom of blank verse (no rhyming) as well as the measured rhythm of iambic pentameter (with a few notable exceptions). The flow of the writing has been described as that of waves, accelerating only to stop in the middle of a line (caesura). The repetition of sounds and words adds to the ebb and flow of the language, appropriately speaking to the ebb and flow of the poet’s memories. Divided into five stanzas of different lengths, the poem begins in the present moment, describing the natural setting.
Wordsworth emphasizes the act of returning by making extensive use of repetition: “Five years have passed; five summers, with the length / Of five long winters! and again I hear / These waters… ” He also uses the phrase “once again” twice, both times in the middle of a line, breaking the flow of the text. It is in this manner that the reader is introduced to the natural beauty of the Wye River area. Wordsworth seems to value this period of his life, and remembers it with a somewhat nostalgic air, although he admits that in this simpler time (“The coarser pleasures of my boyish days”), he was not so sophisticated as he is now.
In the present, he is weighed down by more serious thoughts. He alludes to a loss of faith and a sense of disheartenment. This transition is widely believed to refer to Wordsworth’s changing attitude towards the French Revolution. Having visited France at the height of the Revolution, Wordsworth was inspired by the ideals of the Republican movement. Their emphasis on the value of the individual, imagination, and liberty inspired him and filled him with a sense of optimism. By 1798, however, Wordsworth was already losing faith in the movement, as it had by then degenerated into widespread violence.
Meanwhile, as France and Britain entered the conflict, Wordsworth was prevented from seeing his family in France and lost his faith in humanity’s capacity for harmony. Wordsworth turns to nature to find the peace he cannot find in civilization. Wordsworth goes on to describe a spirit or a being connected with nature that elevates his understanding of the world: And I have felt a presence that disturbs me with the joy. This “presence” could refer to God or some spiritual consciousness, or it could simply refer to the unified presence of the natural world.
In the interconnectedness of nature, Wordsworth finds the sublime harmony that he cannot find in humankind, and for this reason he approaches nature with an almost religious fervor. Like other Romantic poets, Wordsworth imagines that consciousness is built out of subjective, sensory experience. What he hears and sees (“of all that we behold… / of all the mighty world/ Of eye and ear”) creates his perceptions and his consciousness (“both what they half-create, / And what perceive”).
The “language of the sense”–his sensory experiences–are the building blocks of this consciousness (“The anchor of my purest thoughts”). Thus, he relies on his experience of nature for both consciousness and “all [his] moral being. ” Form “Tintern Abbey” is composed in blank verse, which is a name used to describe unrhymed lines in iambic pentameter. Its style is therefore very fluid and natural; it reads as easily as if it were a prose piece. But of course the poetic structure is tightly constructed; Wordsworth’s slight variations on the stresses of iambic rhythms is remarkable.
Lines such as “Here, under this dark sycamore, and view” do not quite conform to the stress-patterns of the meter, but fit into it loosely, helping Wordsworth approximate the sounds of natural speech without grossly breaking his meter. Occasionally, divided lines are used to indicate a kind of paragraph break, when the poet changes subjects or shifts the focus of his discourse. William Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey: Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey is a poem by William Wordsworth that has a strong, central theme of romanticism. Wordsworth was the pioneer poet in the field of literary philosophy which is now called romanticism.
This poem reflects a romantic theme in two main ways. First is that throughout the passage of the entirety of the poem, there is a stressed view point upon imagination and remembrance, and most notably lots of emotion involved in the poem. The second way this poem has a romantic theme is that the poet, Wordsworth, describes/exhibits his love of nature through his many revelations and remembering of memories. Continued, this poem shows lots of imagination and therefore romanticism by the way Wordsworth stresses memories. In the beginning of the poem he remembers the abbey from five years ago and he is reliving the memories.
Then he describes how he perceives and longs for the same degree of nature in those five years since he has returned. Later in the poem, the author rejoices in the fact that he can fuel his imagination with new memories of this trip. In terms of the application of emotion, and therefore romanticism, Wordsworth uses many personal adjectives to describe nature around him. Rather than dote upon the size of the mountains and the age rings and the disrepair of the abbey, he takes an alternative viewpoint and uses emotions to show his joy for these things.
The author is happy and it shows in the poem, this shows the romantic theme. The romantic theme of the poem also applies in a more simplistic manner in the way that the author longs for and enjoys everything about nature around him. As was noted in the previous sentence, the surrounding area makes him happy. In the poem Wordsworth says, he still loves nature, still loves mountains and pastures and woods, for they anchor his purest thoughts and guard the heart and soul of his “moral being. “