What is the background of the poem "The solitary Reaper" by Wordsworth?

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Wordsworth’s poem was partly inspired by his time in Scotland in September 1803, and by written accounts of tours through Scotland that he had read. It’s not clear if Wordsworth actually ran across a woman singing in the fields as she reaped grain, as the poem describes, but Wordsworth is...

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Wordsworth’s poem was partly inspired by his time in Scotland in September 1803, and by written accounts of tours through Scotland that he had read. It’s not clear if Wordsworth actually ran across a woman singing in the fields as she reaped grain, as the poem describes, but Wordsworth is more interested in the poetic effects of the scenario than its actual particularities. In his preface to Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth wrote that poetry is the “spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” This poem is clearly an expression of that principle; the poem is not about the woman at all, but rather on the effect her singing has on the poet. The woman, who is compared to birds, and whose singing fills the valley, is less an individual than another feature of a place of great natural beauty. It is the cumulative effect of the entire scene that Wordsworth takes with him (“The music in my heart I bore,/Long after it was heard no more.”), the recollection of which, no doubt, will result in this poem.

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This poem is an example of pastoral poetry. The poem was greatly influenced by Wordsworth's actual surroundings, but was probably not actually autobiographical. As a Romantic poet, Wordsworth was greatly influenced by the beauty of nature which inspired the image of the girl in the field. The poem may also have been influenced by "Tour in Scotland" by Thomas Wilkinson.

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