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

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The growth of the poet's mind is not just a part of The Prelude but the driving force behind this long poem, the reason for its being. Wordsworth wanted to explain to the world how he became a poet and why he became the particular type of poet he did, one who ushered in the Romantic movement in English poetry. He planned this poem as the prelude to a longer autobiographical poem he wanted to call The Recluse.

Wordsworth dwells on the life experiences that formed his poetic sensibility. Of prime importance was the deep love of nature he formed growing up as a child in the English Lake district.  He never lost this love of nature or the sense of finding the divine in the natural world. Another important influence was the French Revolution. Wordsworth happened to be in France when it broke out, and at first he was excited by the idea of forming a Republic around the brotherhood of men. He then became deeply upset and depressed after it turned into a horrendous bloodbath that betrayed all...

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