In "Tintern Abbey," does Wordsworth really think that experience brought "abundant recompense" or is he deluding himself?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The answer can be found just after the quote you highlight, where the speaker in this poem protests that even though he has lost his childlike innocence when regarding nature, he has only exchanged it for something that is much more worthwhile and valuable. Instead of having a wild passionate relationship with nature, the speaker now has a much more profound connection that is based on a more serious aspect. The speaker is now able to sense "something far more deeply interfused, / Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns." This speaks of a relationship that is far more intense and visceral than the way in which the speaker describes the kind of relationship he had with nature when he was younger. Consider the following quote, where the speaker says:

And in the mind of man,

A motion and a spirit, that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

And rolls through all things.

In short, there is far more of a sense of the mystical relationship that the speaker has with nature now than the way he describes it before. This would be "abundant recompense" indeed.


thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator
'tis her privilege, Through all the years of this our life, to lead From joy to joy: for she can so inform

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