How does Wordsworth describe his evolution as a poet of nature in "Tintern Abbey"?

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appletrees eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this poem, Wordsworth describes a visit to a place near the border of Wales, above the Wye River, that he had visited in his boyhood and which he has not been to in five years. There is a ruined stone abbey there, and the poem is most commonly known simply as "Tintern Abbey," but its full title, "Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour. July 13, 1798" is in some sense not really a title at all, but a description of the occasion on which he composed the poem.

Wordsworth describes in detail the many complex emotions he feels when seeing this landscape again, and the many feelings he has had over the years when he has thought about it. He is grateful for the inspiration this place has given him, and also muses on time spent here with someone he calls his "dear friend" and "sister." He also describes, in many different ways, the importance of nature to his worldview, and it is within these descriptive thoughtful lines that we discover Wordsworth's self-awareness of his own artistry as a nature poet, and of the deeply spiritual connection he feels:

Therefore am I still

A lover of the meadows and the woods,

And mountains; and of all that we behold

From this green earth; of all the mighty world

Of eye, and ear,--both what they half create,

And what perceive; well pleased to recognise

In nature and the language of the sense,

The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,

The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul

Of all my moral being.

In this passage, Wordsworth seems to be reflecting on his work as a poet who writes about nature, and how fully a part of his identity as a person his connection to nature has been for his entire life.