Monday, 1 June 2009

Lines Written in Early Spring

Today I've been studying Lyrical Ballads again. I've found one that I really like. Well I like a lot of them, but this one I like in particular. It's also a very typical example of English Romantic poetry.

It's Wordsworth's 'Lines Written in Early Spring'...

I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclined,
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.

Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure: --
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To catch the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from heaven be sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?


Like a lot of romantic poetry, this one is mainly about nature and its profound impact on the poet. Wordsworth was a pantheist.

Pantheism is...
'The belief that God, or a group of gods, is identical with the whole natural world; pantheism comes from Greek roots meaning “belief that everything is a god.”'

Apparently Wordsworth used to pace up and down a long path whilst he thought up his poems - immersing himself in the beautiful tranquility that surrounded him.

He was quite a radical thinker of the age, and was present in France at the beginning of the French Revolution. He wrote 'Lines Written in Early Spring' upon his return. Some harrowing experiences in France lead him to re-examine his beliefs - hence the rather pensive tone of this particular poem. On the surface it seems a rather happy piece. The personification of nature allows both poet and reader to feel directly linked with the aspects of nature described. Wordsworth gives the flowers, the twigs, the birds, human abilities - i.e - thinking, breathing - which reinforces his point - that we have a sublime 'link' with nature.

I'd better go now - that was a good bit of revision for me! lol :)

Lots of love xxxxx

3 comments:

LarryC said...

Whoaa! That is pretty amazing to ponder, and thanks for sharing!

David Macauley said...

I must say how much I am moved by Williams Wordsworths "the Daffodils"

ie. I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud. That floats on high o'er vales and hills,. When all at once I saw a crowd,. A host, of golden daffodils

I'm sure you know it! David and I also have a compass and in the lid of the brass casing there is a copy of the amazing poem "the road not taken" by Frost, it is something we bought on one of our wedding anniversarys and we both love it. I wish you could pop over for a cuppa and a browse through our beautiful collection of old poetry books! love and light Susan xxxx

santino antonio said...

Hi Holly,

Wonderful your lines on Wordsworth. If you allow me, please, read "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey" which I think one of the most beautiful poems. I love him.
And - no wonder - all lines you drop down are worthwhile reading, and pondering. Ciao,bambina!
Santino Antônio.