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What is the summary of the poem "I traveled among unknown men" for a high school...

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bhawanipur | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted January 6, 2012 at 9:13 AM via web

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What is the summary of the poem "I traveled among unknown men" for a high school student?

Stanza wise explanation please.

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susan3smith | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 6, 2012 at 9:48 AM (Answer #1)

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William Wordsworth poem "I Travelled Among Unknown Men" is from a collection of poems, commonly known as the "Lucy poems." In this poem, the speaker addresses England, professing his love for England because it was the place where Lucy had lived.

Lucy, most likely, is a fictionalized name for Wordsworth's sister. The speaker of these poems shows his love for a girl named Lucy and his sorrow over her death.

In the first stanza, the speaker addresses England.  He proclaims that he did not know how much he loved England until he travelled

among unknown men

In lands beyond the sea

In the second stanza, he claims that he will never leave England's shores again because his love for England has grown so strong. In the third stanaz, he provides the reason for his love of England:

And she I cherished turned her wheel

Beside an English fire.

The girl the speaker is referencing is Lucy, who is finally named in the last stanza.  England is where Lucy worked, played, and died. The poem, in essence, is not about England.  It is about the speaker's devotion to the no longer living Lucy.

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