When it comes to William Wordsworth’s poetry we all know that he is a believer in concise writing. His “standards” as you would say consist of using tools such as: common language, common man, and his own form. Although his standards were critical to his writings, it was his close relationship with nature that was essential to what Wordsworth’s needed in terms of realizing the goals he set in the “Preface to Lyrical Ballads”. In the “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” Wordsworth says, “Poetry is the image of man and nature” (). If we turn and take a look at “Tintern Abbey,” the poem acknowledges Wordsworth’s view that nature (which is present throughout) is what connects mankind to the past, future and to humans. Throughout his writing it is clear that no matter what language he uses, what subject he cares to write about, or the method in which he delivers the message, it was Wordsworth’s connection with nature that allowed for his unique and highly read works to be so important in literature today.
Wordsworth begins “Tintern Abbey” by demonstrating to us the beauty of nature throughout describing the location around him, “and again I hear These waters/rolling from their mountain-springs/With a sweet inland murmur. –Once again/Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs/Which on a wild secluded scene impress/Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect/The landscape with the quiet of the sky.” ( ). This introduction and its vivid description of nature show the importance of the connection between the man and the natural world. Wordsworth seems to not dwell on the mark mankind has felt but instead on how an individual who is alone is enclosed within the vast and uninhabited nature. Although Wordsworth talks about man being there his real kinship is with the untouched beauty of nature.
We continue take a look at what the speaker describes as he connects nature to his past. The speaker makes this connection when he speaks about the time he lived in the city and how he would find comfort in recalling the memories he had of the landscape and its setting. Here Wordsworth is using nature as a source for purity. It represents his escape from ” In which the burthen of the mystery/In which the heavy and the weary weight/ Of all this unintelligible world.” ( ). It’s clear he is stating that the pure sense of nature can create no negative experiences for man. The option to escape from the struggles of everyday life by envisioning the peace and bliss found in nature is a key concept to this piece. It teaches us that to rise above present controversy we need to remove ourselves from society and instead involve ourselves in the natural world. Wordsworth continues to make this connection as he goes on to explain how prominent nature has been throughout his life. “While here I stand, not only with the sense/Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts/That in this moment there is life and food/For future years” (64-65). Here it becomes clear to Wordsworth that his love for nature will be important for years to come and that the memories he has made will follow him for life and provide a sense of relief to him as the years go by.
To conclude the poem, Wordsworth decides to stop talking about the past and shifted to the future and off him. The setting is now a valley where Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy are. He speaks of the future and the hopes he has for Dorothy to experience the healing powers that nature has. “My dear, dear, Sister! And this prayer I make,/Knowing that Nature never did betray/The heart that loved her” (122-123). Being familiar with the powers of nature himself, Wordsworth speaks to Dorothy about the evils of society and assures her that a connection with nature will bring her gratification; Wordsworth has a special talent for writing and the ability he has to look into the beyond and then envision recollections of the events is not only complicated but also crafty and skillful. This concept he uses defines nature, the natural world, as the central element and link between human relationships, as well as the memory and perception we have.
In conclusion, Wordsworth’s works efficiently demonstrate the understanding of nature by using his own experiences within nature, and also with how he portrays the future and the affect it has on the natural world. He goes on to say that “if I should be where I no more can hear/Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams of past existence, wilt thou then forget” (147-149), therefore the moments he spent with Dorothy in nature will withstand time and provide Dorothy relief and memories as she gets older. By predicting the future it allows Wordsworth, and us as readers, to make the conclusion that since they were able to share memories in nature together that even after death William and Dorothy will always be connected. Today, William Wordsworth “Tintern Abbey” continues to enlighten us as readers on the importance of his beliefs and the effect it has on human emotions. Although life on earth today is different than in Wordsworth time, the connection between the real world we live in and the natural world he lived in is still present today in other works of literature and throughout English classrooms. It’s amazing to see how long Wordsworth works have continued to play a part in literature and the importance the beliefs and writing of one man can have.
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