Homework Help

What is the theme of the poem "My heart leaps up " by Wordsworth ?

user profile pic

salmashahawy18 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted March 19, 2010 at 2:03 AM via web

dislike 2 like

What is the theme of the poem "My heart leaps up " by Wordsworth ?

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted March 19, 2010 at 2:24 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

From ny point of view (as poetry is so subjective) the line in the poem "My Heart Leaps Up" by William Wordsworth is the line "The Child is Father of the Man." The poet is saying that childhood is the most impressive time of a person's life - whatever happens then influences the person for the rest of their life. Luckily for William Wordsworth, he recognises his fortune in being born in such a joyfully scenic landscape and the delight this gives will last right throughout his life - and maybe beyond. It will be expressed over and over again in his poetry to be shared with others - it has formed his character and runs through him. Sadly, some people are not so lucky and their formative childhood influences are negative.

user profile pic

Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 19, 2010 at 2:48 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 2 like

The idea of Wordsworth's, "My Heart Leaps Up," is that life isn't worth living if one does not have an intimate relationship with nature. 

The speaker's heart metaphorically leaps up when it sees a rainbow in the speaker's present, as it did when he was a child, and as it will in the future when he will be old--if it doesn't when he is old, he might as well die. 

And poetry is not that subjective.  An intelligent interpretation of a poem must stem from evidence within the poem.  There's nothing in this poem about paintings or loved ones or about growing old well.  The poem's about having an intimate relationship with nature every day of one's life, whether one is a child or a man. 

user profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted March 19, 2010 at 2:10 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 1 like

To me, there are a couple of important themes in this poem.

First, there is the theme of the love of nature.  The speaker's heart leaps up not when he sees a painting, or someone he loves, but rather when he sees something beautiful from nature -- a rainbow.

Second, there is the idea of hoping to age well.  The speaker is hoping that his way of thinking, his emotions, will not change as he grows older.  He hopes that he will still feel the same way he felt as a younger person.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes