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What is the “presence” Wordsworth refers to in the poem "Tintern Abbey” l.93-102,...

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mashat3 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2011 at 1:33 AM via web

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What is the “presence” Wordsworth refers to in the poem "Tintern Abbey” l.93-102, in what sense does it disturb him?

and explain with regard to links between the symbol and the sublime in this poem

I am having trouble, that i cannot discuss or talk about it. please help

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 5, 2011 at 4:40 AM (Answer #1)

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Wordsworth, of all the Lake poets, was most intrigued by the ineffable forces of the universe, by the unmeasured energy that transcended human intellectual comprehension.  He “felt” in Nature a “force” that fused all matter and gave life to all things.  His was not a “religious” belief (that is, he did not claim homage to a personified “god” but rather to the “presence” of forces not acknowledged at his time--long before the scientific advances of the 19th century), much like today’s notions in Physics of a unified field, or a cosmic energy emanating from the Big Bang and permeating all matter.  That force manifested itself in all things–daffodils, meadows, woods, mountains, etc.  It was a force he felt in the ruins of Tintern Abbey as well–that is, he did not stop his observations at the ruined nature of the abbey, but felt the “presence” of time itself, of the passage of history, from creation to decay. That is, the cycle of life did not limit itself to “seasons” or natural phenonema, but applied to human achievements and progress as well. 
His poem “Intimations of Immortality” makes a good counterpart to this poem, as it claims an attraction of “earth’s toys” (ie. physical objects and drives) have pulled us away from a previous understanding of how the universe really functions (“Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting”).  It “disturbs” him in that it makes him seek wisdom and “answers” beyond the quotidian.  He wants to acknowledge that “presence” in his own life, in his communion (communication) with Nature, “when these wild ecstasies shall be matured/ Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind/ Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms.”

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mashat3 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2011 at 5:25 PM (Answer #2)

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Thank you very much it helped me alot :-)

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mashat3 | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 5, 2011 at 5:47 PM (Answer #3)

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and explain with regard to links between the symbol and the sublime in this poem ? i need some infroamtion about the symbol use and the sublime in this poem as well

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