Tuesday, February 3, 2009

William Wordsworth

For all responses, use the poem's title as header.


  1. "The World is too Much With Us"

    I've recently been in a mood where i want to tromp around in a forest, so this poem has been on my mind for awhile. i can connect with the author's frustration at being detached from nature. After a week of being in sterile classrooms, commanded to write poetry about nature, I just want to go sit in or under a tree all day. I want to run through a stream. I want to be irrational. This is what Wordsworth wanted as well, I'd rather be/ a pagan, suckled in a creed outworn."

    On a more technical point, I am intrigued by his rhyme scheme. He has good rhythm and good flow. This all makes the poem much more enjoyable because the foundation is excellent. It subtly makes the reader more interested in the poem, which makes his message even stronger.

  2. Dan Liu (Topics ENG II Period 5)

    “The World is Too Much with Us” – William Wordsworth
    The most conspicuous romantic portion of this poem is the powerful essence of nature embedded into the fabric of the text. Wordsworth mentions the words “Nature,” “flowers,” “sea,” “moon,” and “winds.” He directly addresses the necessity of untamed nature as proclaimed by romanticism by describing the human race as a group who has “[laid] waste [their] powers; / Little [they] see in Nature that is [theirs]; / [They] have given [their] hearts away, a sordid boon!” There is also evidence of this argument later on in the poem as he tells the humans dominated by pure fact and orderly reason, “we are out of tune; / It moves us not.—Great God! I’d rather be / A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn.” Wordsworth’s most important contribution to the field of romanticism in this composition clearly shows to be the need for humans to embrace the natural, primitive methods of life again and to dispose of the busy, factual society.

  3. Dan Liu (Topics ENG II Period 5)

    “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” – William Wordsworth
    “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” seems to be one of the poems of great length and magnitude, unlike many of the other romantic poems I have come upon in my journeys. It becomes obvious that this poem revels in the beauty of nature, apart from the disgusting, sad dwellings of urban city life. Wordsworth utilizes a great amount of juxtapositions, between the present and past and the countryside and city. In each comparison and contrast he ensures that he emphasizes the good of the natural world as opposed to the strictly ordered way of the civilized world. This has come to no surprise considering all romantic pieces must somehow convey this message one way or another, apparent or hidden. Wordsworth’s technique of his juxtapositions is excellent for it gives some emotional appeal to relate to, and I do find that I can see the world and society through the lens of this poem. It may be a rather long poem to follow through with but provides much useful insight.

  4. "The World is Too Much With Us"

    Rather than spending many lines reflecting on images, Wordsworth uses this poem as an opportunity to chastise humanity in general for letting the appreciation of nature go by the wayside. We are ignoring the world around us, all of the beautiful, wild things it has to offer, and instead we are prioritizing material things. The phrase "late and soon" indicates that Wordsworth believes this has been happening for a while and will continue to happen in the future. This viewpoint is not unheard of today--especially with increased global warming and greenhouse effect awareness, there are many who are making the attempt to shift back into a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, more in-tune with nature and less conflicting with it. This is not always easy, even for those who desperately want to do their part to change the direction we are headed with our cars and factories and resulting smog, and so some may share in the sentiment Wordsworth presents in the sestet. He would "rather be / a Pagan suckled in a creed outworn" so that he could better enjoy the wind and the ocean, and indeed, had we today been raised with the more outdated notions of spirits and gods in different aspects of nature, we might have a greater love for it.

  5. Yes! I got dial-up!

    "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey"

    In this poem, Wordsworth juxtaposes his two beliefs concerning the role of nature. He embraced the recent one during a visit to the titular dilapidated monastery that became almost a religious experience to him. Wordsworth recalls that, when he was young and unfledged, he perceived nature as a sanctuary from invasive thoughts on the jumbled human society. In essence, he previously connected with nature in seclusion not necessarily because he sought to marvel at its beauty, but because it offered him a refuge from stress. Now, Wordsworth reveals that he no longer comes to the woods to escape humanity--rather, he comes there knowing that nature has an intrinsic value that he can appreciate. This concern with intrinsic beauty defines the Romanticist movement. Wordsworth wrote this poem in free verse, which is a subtle reflection of the emphasis Romanticists placed on rawness and expression: a strict, formulaic rhyming scheme would have inhibited complete expression of thought. I found this hard to digest, because I have, over the years, gradually allowed the aggressive materialism of contemporary culture to oust my childhood animist beliefs and the like. The only nature I now see is a bare tree out in our back yard. Our yard is a grid of rectangular patches of grass.
    This view I get from behind a window.

  6. Dang, This is late...

    Wordsworth is expressing his annoyance or displeasure about the human vs. nature relationship. He seems to almost detest humankind because of it. He says he would rather be a pagan worshiping an outdated religion than deal with the mess that humans have made of this world. He has a very respectable outlook I think. He's not attacking anybody, which leads me to believe that this is more of a rant than an argument, and he is putting himself is the unfavorable situations, instead of all of humanity.

    I liked this poem.

  7. “Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”

    In the poem “Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” Wordsworth writes about how his love of nature, over the years, has changed, but not died, this is how the poem is romantic. He discusses how as a child he was somewhat rambunctious and had more of an unstructured love of nature, following it wherever it would lead him. “Wherever nature led: more like a man/ Flying from something that he dreads, than one/ Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then/ (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,/ And their glad animal movements all gone by)/ To me was all in all.--I cannot paint/ What then I was” (Lines 72-78). In this passage it’s obvious that as a young boy, Wordsworth’s love of nature was one of spontaneity and impulsiveness, and nature was Wordsworth’s lodestar and was “more like a man” (Line 72) to Wordsworth, who guided him through nature.

    But as the years went on Wordsworth’s love of nature seemed to change, he grew more and more interested in the union and the concept of nature. It was especially apparent how he grew to admire the idea of being alone in nature: “With some uncertain notice, as might seem/ Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,/ Or of some Hermit’s cave, where by his fire/ The Hermit sits alone” (Lines 19-22). Through this metaphor of the Hermit who sits alone, it is evident that Wordsworth’s love of nature has turned into a love of being alone in the harmony of nature. Later on Wordsworth describes the surreal experience that he enjoys in nature: “Almost suspended, we are laid asleep/ In body, and become a living soul:/ While with an eye made quiet by the power/ Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,/ We see into the life of things” (Lines 46-50). Now Wordsworth tells us how his love of nature has changed from its original spontaneity to a dreamlike state of mind, in which the body and soul unite as one and the mind looks on to watch the natural phenomenon of nature.

    This poem, to me, invokes a lot of emotion because I can relate to the growth of Wordsworth’s love of nature. I can remember the days a being a child and all the spontaneity that each day brought. Now as I begin to grow into an adult, I can still appreciate the impulsiveness of a young child who roams around, free of worries. But I can also see and enjoy how a closer look at the structure of things can give people a finer explanation of their true meaning and purpose. Hopefully as I continue to grow into an adult my outlook on life will grow as well, and hopefully I might gain a better understanding of Wordsworth’s new love of nature, but still appreciate the idea and concept of his old love.

  8. Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

    In the beginning of Wordsworth poem, the speaker is looking back on his time at Tintern Abbey when he was youthful 5 years ago. Reflecting back, he remembers how at Tintern Abbey he was, "flying from something that he dreads," and how nature and the Abbey were more of an escape for him. When he goes back again, he is more in touch with reality and nature is not such a fantastical place for him. He writes, "to look on nature, not as in the hour of thoughtless youth; but hearing of ten times the still, sad music of humanity." While he does not think of nature as an escape any more, it is clear he does not deny that nature plays an important role in his outlook on life. This is clear when he writes, "I, so long a worshipper of nature, hither came unwearied in that service; rather say with warmer love!"
    Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey is a Romantic poem, first because of all the nature imagery that it is filled with. For example, "these waters, rolling from their mountain-springs with a soft inland murmur" and "the pastoral farms, green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke sent up, in silence, from among the trees!" Also, the primitive and uncivilized beginning of the poem when Wordsworth describes his time as a youth as "hours of weariness, sensations sweet" is another Romantic element.

  9. "The World is too Much With Us"

    Wordsworth uses this poem as an attack on the modern state of civilization. He criticizes humans for forgetting about the beauties of nature. His poem uses a plethora of countryside, wild images described in lifelike detail. Wordsworth also in his work claims that he himself would prefer to be uncivilized and worship the pagan gods such as "Proteus...[and] Triton". What Wordsworth is calling for in this poem, however, is not a mass devolve of humankind back to its previous beliefs. What Wordsworth asks for with this poem is simply for us to notice the beauty of nature instead of passing it by as a normal sight.

  10. The World is Too Much With Us
    The Romantic themes of naturalism come very much into play, here, as do recollections ancient gods. It is also apparent that this poem sprung from the Romantic era, as there is such a turn from the "getting and spending" of the modern time (2). Wordsworth crafts his poem brilliantly. Not only does he critique (and criticize!) the consumerist culture which evolved through the industrial evolution, but he speaks his own weighty words: "I'd rather be / a Pagan suckled in a creed outworn" than live such a shallow and "worldless" life (9-10).
    I should think that I would want to follow as the poet suggests, but I have such trouble giving up the many things that must be deserted in order to stop "getting and spending"(2).

  11. "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey"

    The poem is blatantly romantic in Wordsworth's numerous descriptions of nature such as when he discusses how he "bounded o’er the mountains, by the sides/Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,/Wherever nature led". He reinforces his love of nature, but rather dread of the city when he continues this description to coercively state such. More elements of romanticism exist in Wordsworth's free expression of how scatterbrained he is while confused in regards to how he should now view nature. Wordsworth writes "Therefore am I still/A lover of the meadows and the woods,/And mountains; and of all that we behold/From this green earth" as he questions himself and his views. I viewed this as the central conflict of the poem that gives it a certain appeal to readers because many are able to relate to being in a state of confusion, in which you are constantly second-guessing yourself.

  12. “The World is Too Much with Us”

    This poem glorifies nature, as is part of romantic writing. The author reprimands humanity for their separation from nature, their “getting and spending” while the “little [they] see in nature” is truly appreciated. He insists that “we are out of tune” with the natural world and that he yearns to rejoin it, nearly apologizing to God for his “pagan” thoughts. Despite his own opinions on humanity’s lack of appreciation for the wonders and beauty found within the world, the author comments on the fact that this is an ongoing issue when he states that it is “late and soon”. I personally enjoyed this poem because it encouraged me to remember previous outings in nature, and the things that they taught me. Things like which plants to avoid, how to catch chipmunks, and how the clouds race each other on windy days. These thoughts may be due to growing weary of the classroom setting, but I like to believe that youthful hearts never tire of natural beauty.

  13. The World is Too Much with Us

    Wordsworth writes of the need for people to see through and past society, into the natural world, not made by man, but by the Gods. "Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!" He says we are letting the beautiful nature around us go to waste. Wordsworth very much associates the Gods with nature, thus giving man's society and creations a foul, antagonistic view, which is uncommonly done relating to the image of mankind.

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  15. The speaker is reminiscent of his younger days spent when he “bounded o’er the mountains, by the sides/ Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,/ Wherever nature led” and the peacefulness and serenity it brought him as a child. The speaker of the poem held an extreme love for nature which now that he is “changed, no doubt” cannot fully enjoy as he once did (yet does not regret such). He craved Nature, from mountains and the “deep, gloomy wood” like “an appetite” and in the latter of the poem, the speaker prays that his beloved sister may reap the joy that he once found in nature.

    The subject of the poem is obviously heavily focused on nature, as he is set next to a murmuring stream perched under a “dark sycamore” tree. He expresses his deep love and passion for nature that he held as a child, which now as an adult give him keen memories to enjoy. Nature was like a free world to him, and now as an adult he can view the magnitude and power of Nature with a feeling of “a sense sublime/ Of something far more deeply interfused” which still give him reason to love Nature. The poem is very flowing and smooth to read, possibly modeled after nature which is often quiet and peaceful. There is no rhyming structure, placing emphasis not on words but on the subject itself and the experience of being in Nature. It is still written in meter, however, to keep the words flowing.

    I deeply enjoyed this poem as I can heavily relate to his “boyish” passions of being with Nature. The poem is very flowing and lightly themed, thinking of happy days, then and now.

  16. The speaker of this poem is criticizing humanity for looking past the everyday beauty in nature, as he had when he was a child, which was continued on throughout adult hood.
    I liked the rhyming of this poem. I found its flow constant and elegant, not distracting from the dept and the poem its self.

  17. “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey”

    The most obviously Romantic concept in “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey” is the focus on nature, especially in its unruly and wild state. The poem speaks of a man’s love for nature and how even though his life has changed, nature has remained constant. The poem also focuses on spontaneity of thought and action. The man tells about his wild younger days when he was free of reality and could do seemingly anything he wanted. When he returns to nature again in his older days, no longer so free-spirited but focus on reality, he finds himself somewhat nostalgic of how he used to be. He longs for the spontaneity of his youth so returns to nature to find it.

    Wordsworth uses descriptive language and strong sensory detail to depict nature in the poem. “The tall rock, / The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, / Their colours and their forms, were then to me / An appetite; a feeling and a love” (77-80.) He writes about the intense feelings that nature arouses in the man, and makes the reader feel the emotion that it instills in him.

    This poem made me feel somewhat sad, in the fact that the man must grow up and face the hard truths of life. It’s not easy leaving the innocence of youth, and its something I personally am kind of dreading. However, I can also relate to the poem because I also feel very strongly about nature. To me, there is no greater feeling than sitting atop the green mountains of New Mexico and staring out across the rolling hills and valleys. The air is so clean and cool that it literally is “a breath of fresh air.” In this way I found the poem very comforting.