What is the impact of the solitary reaper's song on both the woman and the speaker in "The Solitary Reaper"?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The solitary reaper's song is a powerful one.  Interestingly enough, it might not mean that much to her.  The song is something that she is singing to complete her work in the field.  Presumably, this is something that she sings to pass the drudgery of her day.  There is little to indicate that she is singing a song of transcendent quality to her own state of being in the world.  Rather, she is simply singing a song to allow her work to pass without as much in way of boredom.  Yet, this is not how the song is received by the speaker of the poem, presumably Wordsworth.  He is transfixed by the song.  Unaware of the language in which it is sung, his mind goes to different suppositions and conjectures on what the song might mean.  It is here where the readert fully grasps the song's impact on the speaker, as it allows him to understand the concepts of beauty, grace, and personal meaning it holds for him.  The song allows the speaker to transcend his current reality, allowing him to move into what can be or even what should be, as opposed to what is.  For a moment, the song moves him to a realm where so much is altered that he fully embraces this particular moment.  A song that might not have held in way of meaning for the one who sang it is read and felt much differently by another who hears it.

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