Lines Written in Early Spring

by William Wordsworth
Start Free Trial

How does the poet show himself to be associated with nature in "Lines Written in Early Spring"?

The poet shows himself to be associated with nature by emphasizing his connection with the natural world. In doing so, he sets himself apart from the human world, which is full of strife and conflict.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

As an arch-Romantic, Wordsworth feels a powerful connection with the natural world. It isn't just a place full of pretty flowers and awesome mountains; it's a living force in its own right. And Wordsworth feels himself a part of that force. Far from standing over against nature and treating it...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

As an arch-Romantic, Wordsworth feels a powerful connection with the natural world. It isn't just a place full of pretty flowers and awesome mountains; it's a living force in its own right. And Wordsworth feels himself a part of that force. Far from standing over against nature and treating it as an object, he feels united to it as part of a vast single creation.

This attitude is beautifully expressed in "Lines Written in Early Spring." Here, the speaker, assumed to be Wordsworth himself, demonstrates his affinity with nature by highlighting the strength of the connection he feels toward it:

To her fair works did Nature link

The human soul that through me ran.

Nature has connected the speaker's soul to all the beautiful things he sees around him: the birds, the primrose tufts, and periwinkles. The speaker reinforces this connection to nature by contrasting the joy it brings to the immense sadness he experiences when he thinks of “What man has made of man,” or what humanity has done to itself.

So long as the speaker feels this intense connection to nature, he is perfectly happy. But happiness soon turns to sadness, as happy moods invariably lead to sad ones. Try as he might, the speaker cannot escape his humanity. He may deplore what humanity has done to itself, but he is a man all the same, and so cannot help but feel sad at what man has made of man.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on