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What is the main idea of "Tintern Abbey" by Wordsworth?

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shewa55 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 8, 2013 at 5:26 PM via web

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What is the main idea of "Tintern Abbey" by Wordsworth?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted June 8, 2013 at 6:25 PM (Answer #1)

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This poem, whose official title is “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798”, is a major narrative statement expressing the heart of the “Romantic” movement:  We go to Nature (here represented by the ruins and the river and banks and sycamore tree) to recall and re-“feel” the joyful emotions from our more innocent past, to “recollect in tranquility” the “powerful emotions” that our earth-life has separated us from (Wordsworth in another poem refers to the “toys” that this world places in our childhood lap).  For the first-person narrator of this poem describes the scene he has not “seen” in a long time, but which he “sees” almost daily in his mind, his imagination (“These beauteous forms,/Through a  long absence...feelings too of /Of unremembered pleasure” ). They also remind him of a lost love (“on the banks of this delightful stream/We stood together…”). 


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