Tintern Abbey - Poem

Published: 2021-06-29 07:02:38
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Category: English

Type of paper: Essay

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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 second stanza Wordsworth tells his readers that his first visit to this place gave him "sensations sweet" when he was in the "lonely rooms" of the city. He intimates that these "feelings... / Of unremembered pleasure" may have helped him to be a better person, perhaps simply by putting him in a better mood than he would have been in otherwise:
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened
Wordsworth goes on to suggest his spiritual relationship with nature, which he believes will be a part of him until he dies:
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame,
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid sleep
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.
In the third stanza, he begins to consider what it would mean if his belief in his connection to nature were misguided, but stops short. Seeming not to care whether the connection is valid or not, he describes the many benefits that his memories nature give him. At the end of the stanza he addresses the Wye River: "How oft, in spirit, have I returned to thee / O sylvan Wye! Thou wanderer through the woods, / How often has my spirit returned to thee!"
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:
like a roe
I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides

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