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Which two poems by William Wordsworth emphasize commonplace subjects and a reverence...

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veram | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted July 27, 2010 at 9:50 AM via web

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Which two poems by William Wordsworth emphasize commonplace subjects and a reverence for nature?

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appletrees | College Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted October 18, 2010 at 2:09 AM (Answer #1)

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The poem commonly known as "Lines Written Above Tintern Abbey"(actually referred to by Wordsworth with the non-title "COMPOSED A FEW MILES ABOVE TINTERN ABBEY, ON REVISITING THE BANKS OF THE WYE DURING A TOUR" is a simple and reverent poem about the beauty of nature observed on a simple walking tour. He has been to this place before and delights in the simple pleasures of the mundane sights and sounds:

The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,

Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!

The poem "Nutting" is also a poem praising the beauty of simple activity: nut gathering in the forest. It is also a love poem of sorts, using suggestive language to describe what may be a romantic encounter.

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lprono | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted December 31, 2010 at 2:18 AM (Answer #1)

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Wordsworth's poetry in general stresses the importance for commonplace subjects and a reverence for nature. In the Preface to 1800 edition of the Lyrical Ballads, one of the key texts of British Romanticism, Wordsworth declares his preference for subject matters taken from "humble and rustic life" expressed through "a selection of the language really spoken by men". Wordsworth feels that human beings who lead a "humble and rustic" life are closer to Nature and less influenced by social conventions. This is part of the Romantic project to recapture an authentic perception of Nature and thus a reconciliation with it. This capacity to perceive Nature has been lost because of the development of a more complex social structure. "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey", "Michael: A Pastoral Poem", the Lucy poems and "The Solitary Reaper" are all good examples of Wordsworth's search for simple and humble settings and of his wonder and reverence in the face of Nature.

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