William Wordsworth Questions and Answers

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Compare Wordsworth’s feelings about Nature as described in these poems. “The World is Too Much With Us; LATE AND SOON" "COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3, 1802" "COMPOSED A FEW MILES ABOVE TINTERN ABBEY, ON REVISITING THE BANKS OF THE WYE DURING A TOUR. JULY 13, 1798"

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In each of these poems, like much of his work, Wordsworth's embrace of nature is critical to the appreciation of his work and the philosophy that drives it.  In "The World is Too Much with Us," Wordsworth constructs nature as the transcendent ideal that is being clouded by individual contingency.  The industry and the commercially conformist ends of the modern setting that is represented by "the world" as it is currently constructed fails to "see" the natural setting that is "ours."  In this poem, Wordsworth sees nature as a universal idyll that is to be pursued and embraced with vigor, apart from what is in the hope of being what can be.  In "Composed upon Westminister Bridge," Wordsworth depicts nature as a cradle that provides beauty to anything.  While London and its urban setting might have been something to avoid for Wordsworth, it is precisely the beauty of nature that can make even the industrial London beautiful.  Describing London in the early morning hours, Wordsworth apotheosizes nature as a force of beautification.  "Bright and glitterless in the morning air," nature provides clarity and a sense of the lucid for London.  Finally, in the last poem, nature is the benchmark to note personal change.  Wordsworth's reveries composed upon Tintern Abbey are a homage to how nature can provide permanence in an impermanent world, haven in that which might be filled with heartlessness.  Wordsworth uses his own personal and subjective change as something that can only be measured by nature and the appreciation of it.  In this light, nature is the permanent marker by which our lives can be measured.  Wordsworth remarks on how much he has changed from his last visit to this spot in nature and through this reflection, the constant is the natural setting.

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