What are the similarities and differences in Wordsworth's poems, "Ode: Intimation of Immortality" and "Tintern Abbey"?

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Both these long poems by William Wordsworth seek to do the same thing:  express the renewal of youthful joy at rediscovering Nature’s beauty.  The Ode treats the subject generally, musing on the way Nature has preserved its beauty while Mother Earth raises Man from childhood to maturity; Tintern Abbey treats a most recent return, specifically to a church ruin by the River Wye, a visit that renews the blissful feelings that the poet/narrator had on his first visit five years earlier.  (Although the abbey is not technically part of Nature, in this context, decaying under the natural forces of Nature and surrounded by mountain-springs and a landscape “quiet as the sky,” it is more Nature’s purview than Earth’s.)  Both poems express the joy of earlier days, refreshed and renewed after exposure to “the din/ Of towns and cities”.  In both poems, the narrator relates how he has sought solace (“Tranquil restoration”) from remembering the scenes in his mind “In hours of weariness.”  Tintern Abbey is also specific for its reference to his sister, and how he misses her, as part of his younger joyful experiences (“ For thou art with me here upon the banks”), while Intimations does not include any specific reference to other people.  The poetic forms in both (iambic pentameter, unrhymed) are similar, as are the syntax and phraseology.  Tintern Abbey was written first (1798) and in many ways Ode: Intimations of Immortality (1807) is the more philosophical, mature statement of the principles of Romantic poetry.

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