How is William Wordsworth admiring the beauty and demeanor of his lady love in his poem "She was a Phantom of Delight"?

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The narrator first admires his beloved as "a phantom of delight." She is to him an angelic, otherworldly being. She seems all perfection and hardly human. She appears ephemeral, something insubstantial who won't stay in his life for long: "a moment's ornament." In this incarnation she is a dream figure, a haunting, dancing angel.

Later, she comes to be more real and substantial to her beloved. She becomes a fully solid woman rather than a phantom. She is now

not too bright or good / For human nature's daily food.

In other words, she has gone from being a goddess to a human being to him.

In the third part of the poem, her two sides, otherworldly and human, are brought together into one admired whole. The beloved is both angel and earthly woman. The poet praises her reasonable nature and her noble character, which he finds strong and enduring. He ends by writing of her:

A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.
The poet shows the stages the lover goes through, first seeing the beloved as wholly angelic, then as a real person living an everyday life with everyday emotions, and finally, as a being who is both a "perfect" earthly woman and yet shot through with a spiritual light.
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In "She Was a Phantom of Delight” Wordsworth’s perception of his wife, Mary, evolves.

Mary is first described as a physically attractive person with an emphasis on human desire and pleasure. The relationship progresses to the point where Mary is seen as a complete though flawed individual with personal characteristics that are admired. By the poem's end, however, Wordsworth has developed a profound appreciation of his wife's brilliance and wisdom. Wordsworth's description of his wife may demonstrate how an intimate relationship overtime.

We are presented with three depictions of women -- objects of beauty, flawed imperfect beings, and individuals with power and wisdom gained through suffering and endurance.

Consequently, Wordsworth is describing his wife, not as how she is in the present, but his perception of her at various points in their marriage.

This poem shows us that there is not a persistent definition of beauty or womanhood in this poem.

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