How is the the growth of a poet's mind a part of "The Prelude"? 

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I reworded the question to, in my opinion, more accurately capture its spirit.  I am sorry if I made a mistake in doing so.  Wordsworth writes to his sister that the purpose of his work was to detail a "poem on the growth of my own mind."  It is here in which the emergence of a poetic sensibility becomes a part of "The Prelude."  Wordsworth uses the poetic power of reflection and rumination to bring out his own autobiography.  The poet reflects the growth of a poet's mind in the way in which the past is viewed through a Romantic sensibility.  Memories of childhood are evoked that bring out innocence and a sense of beauty about what was, never to be repeated again.  The reflection about university days helps to illuminate a love of nature, and a reverence for it.  While the poetic sensibility explores the French Revolution, one is conscious of how the growth of a Romantic poet's mind becomes the constant and driving force behind the work.  For Wordsworth, being able to explore this growth and strength of a poetic mind is as part of the significance  of "The Prelude."  The development poet's mind that is able to "see into the life of things" is of vital importance to the development of the poem.


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