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Please explain Wordsworth's "To The Skylark.''

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bakeel | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 7, 2009 at 4:22 PM via web

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Please explain Wordsworth's "To The Skylark.''

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lit24 | College Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted January 7, 2009 at 11:01 PM (Answer #1)

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Wordsworth's "To The Skylark" is an ode in praise of a bird famous for certain unique qualities. The skylark true to its name spends most of its time flying high in the sky. This makes Wordsworth to wonder whether it does so because it hates the earth in which so much of unhappiness abounds. However, it never forgets to drop in silently as and when it pleases into its nest on the ground.

The skylark is a "daring warbler" which mounts to great heights in the open sky and sings lovingly to its mate which also inhabits the same open sky. However, the same  song is heard in the plain down below proudly asserting the fact that the beauty of its songs does not depend on the pleasant season of spring. 

Wordsworth began the poem by addressing the skylark as a supernatural wandering singer and a "pilgrim of the sky" who wishes to have nothing to do with the cares of this world. But he concludes the poem by praising it for singing its melodious songs in broad  daylight - unlike the nightingale in the "shady wod" - high in the open sky which are heard by people down below on the earth. By doing so it is like the wise man who soars to great heights without losing sight of his bearings on the earth below.

"A privacy of glorious light": The line is an oxymoron. How can there be "privacy"  in the open sky in "glorious" sunlight?  Its possible because the skylark is the only  bird which can fly to such great heights.

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harjeet | College Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 16, 2010 at 12:17 PM (Answer #2)

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meaning of words 'ethereal minstrel'

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subrataray | High School Teacher | Valedictorian

Posted April 30, 2010 at 4:43 AM (Answer #5)

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The poem seems to be an allegory on human attitudes to life .

The skylark keeps its link between sky and land .It is happy with its family . At its will it can't leave its nest , for it has responsibility to its family members . But life needs entertainment and fresh air . Hence it often takes its flight to the higher region of the sky , and returns home . Again , the skylark is an wise one .It enjoys the bliss of imagination with the grim reality of life .For , too mush  attachment to imagination thrusts one away from life , and leads to morbid thought .As a shrewed family man the skylark preserves the wisdom .

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