Does the idea of healing touch exist in Wordsworth's "She dwelt among the untrodden ways"?From the Lucy Poems

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The poetry of William Wordsworth has often been written about and analyzed to show that the author strongly believed in the healing touch of nature.  The majority of his poetry draws primarily on nature imagery and natural themes, and it seems that even in his personal life, the man sought solace, peace, and respite in nature.

The "Lucy Poems" are a series of five poems all about a girl, Lucy, who died at very young age.  One way that Wordsworth has captured the "healing touch" of nature in these poems, is to compare Lucy to images and objects found in nature, and to show that by dying young, her innocence, beauty, and therefore her power, are preserved forever.  In "She dwelt among..." Lucy is described as:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

This stanza uses imagery from nature to show that Lucy was both rare and one of a kind.  Her beauty was made more powerful by comparison to others, or her environment.  Only inferences can be made about Wordsworth's meaning here, but I think you could make the argument that he's trying to show that nature's healing touch can be found in rare occurrences and only if you are looking for them.  A lone violet by a mossy stone would stick out in color and delicacy, but might not be noticeable if one weren't searching.  And realistically speaking, how often is it that a person catches a glimpse of only one lone star in the sky?  When it does happen, that one star seems small and "fair," yet beautiful because no other stars compete with it for light.

It requires some thought, but by noticing the way Wordsworth compares Lucy to things found in nature, you can make logical inferences about this idea of nature's healing touch within the series.

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