Wordsworth, Tintern AbbeyAs I spend the month of August remembering English poets and their lasting influence on me, I have to take some time TRYING to capture the power of William Wordsworth (7 April 1770 – 23 April 1850). And to be honest, I don't know how to do it. Wordsworth has a style that defied the common conventions of poets during his day. His poems were designed for simple understanding and are very readable to almost anyone. I guess that is why I enjoy him in particular.
The William Wordsworth poem, I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, has been a recurring joy to me throughout my adult life. . It portrays a speaker who has encountered a field of daffodils waving in the breeze who seem to be 'dancing' in the wind. The beauty of nature in that moment is so powerful that the image is burned into his soul. And later, all alone, quiet and even blue- he hearkens back to that moment as it 'flashed on his inward eye'
Over time, we had it all 'mapped out'- the limestone quarries, the iron ore mines, we knew how to get to (and climb) the old fire tower, and we knew that over the ridge was the Ruffner ball fields.
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din This is a repeating theme- Wordsworth remembers
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them, and the memories are treasures- yes, indeed
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind
With tranquil restoration:—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft—
In darkness and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart—
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer thro' the woods, The 'sylvan' (wooded) river 'Wye'- the Wye River Woods
How often has my spirit turned to thee!
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.
By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
Oh there is blessing in this gentle breeze,
A visitant that while it fans my cheek
Doth seem half-conscious of the joy it brings
From the green fields, and from yon azure sky.