Can someone prove that there is a  relationship between the structure (imagery, meter, sound.. ) and the content of the following poem? Many thanks!!Here is the poem : William Wordsworth : "She...

Can someone prove that there is a  relationship between the structure (imagery, meter, sound.. ) and the content of the following poem? Many thanks!!

Here is the poem :

William Wordsworth : "She dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways"

      She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
--Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!

Asked on by mercure

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In William Wordsworth's "She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways," the imagery used describes Lucy as one who is cut off from the world.

Lucy lives among the untrodden ways (where few walk), and there are few there to praise or to love her. Lucy is lonely. This sense of "oneness" is continued with observations of nature: there is one violet by a stone that is half-hidden from view (perhaps easily missed); and the description of the star points out that it is most beautiful when no other stars are visible: perhaps because it gets lost in a crowded sky, perhaps as Lucy might be lost in a room full of people, and no one would be able to fully appreciate her.

Living alone, it was as if no one even noticed when she died, except the poet.

The poem creates, with its imagery, a sense of sadness, of being alone.

The meter consists of one line of eight beats, followed by a second line of six beats. As the poem is read, there is stress placed on the second of each pair of syllables. So in lines one and three, there are four stressed syllables, and in lines two and four, there are three stressed syllables.  This pattern is repeated throughout the poem.

The rhyme scheme is also simple: ABAB in each stanza. This lends itself to the simple motion created by the meter.

If one were to look deeply, it might sound—with this meter—as if there is a rocking motion. With the knowledge that Lucy has died, the swaying movement created with this structure might be like a casket being carried, especially if there weren't enough pallbearers.

If Lucy has lived alone and unnoticed, it is quite possible that when it comes time to lay her to her rest, few men might have been available to help move the box, and the swaying would have been pronounced. It seems a logical interpretation in light of the picture of loneliness that has been presented in the poem.

(Note: "Proof" is hard to come by in a poem. A poem speak differently to each individual who reads it. This is my perception of the poem and the effect of the imagery and meter.)


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