Based on Wordsworth’s characterization of poets, do they have a greater capability than the capability of most people to treat absent things as if present and to conjure from passions produced by real events?
In his famous poem concerning Tintern Abbey, William Wordsworth suggests that he is able to recall the beautiful moments of his past, and that the joy associated with these recollections of beauty help give meaning to his present life:
Though absent long,
These forms of beauty have not been to me,
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of wariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration:—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As may have had no trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life;
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.
Although Wordsworth does not explicitly identify himself as specifically a poet here, the lines do seem to imply that persons with poetic sensibilities – persons with powerful imaginations – can in fact feel absent things as if those things were present. The absent things become present in such a person’s mind, and such a person, if s/he is indeed a poet, can “re-create” those absent things for other persons, as in a sense Wordsworth does so well in this particular poem. Most of his readers will not have been to Tintern Abbey, but the vividness of Wordsworth’s writing can make us feel as he felt about the place and what it meant to him.