Wordsworth calls the Child, "Might Prophet, Seer Blest!" What is Wordsworth's view of the child's closness to nature and the imagination?

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herappleness's profile pic

M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The Ode Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood  is a rendition and celebration of the innocence of childhood, the wonders of innocence, the love that only a child can sense in their hearts, and the fact that children are in theory "closest to the Kingdom of God" being that they are so recent to life, and so much closer to the goodness of humanity, than adults are.

Wordsworth also basically wonders why a child would want to pretend or want to be adults when being adults only leads you farther and farther from the joys of childhood, and the blessings of innocence.

In reference to imagination and nature, Wordsworth believes that children, and their closeness to God have more creativity and innocence to be unspoilt by the unnecesary vanities of life, hence, they also have what it takes to admire, appreciate, accept, embrace, and love nature for what it is, in the author's world: Another gift from above.

This is all in stanza number 8:

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie    

 

   Thy Soul's immensity;

Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep

Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind,

That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep,

Haunted for ever by the eternal mind, -    

   Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!    

   On whom those truths do rest,

Which we are toiling all our lives to find,

In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;

Thou, over whom thy Immortality

Broods like the Day, a Master o'er a Slave,

A Presence which is not to be put by;      

   To whom the grave

Is but a lonely bed without the sense or sight    

   Of day or the warm light,

A place of thought where we in waiting lie;

Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might

Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height,

Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke

The years to bring the inevitable yoke,

Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?

Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight,

And custom lie upon thee with a weight,

Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

Sources:
subrataray's profile pic

subrataray | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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Wordsworth's view on the wisdom of a child is not tenable .It is the poet's vainly glorious imagination that leads him to build a castle in the air .Perhaps stirred with Henry Vaughan's Retreat , he steps to paint the trailing -heavenly -essence in a child .And takes for granted that in the pre-natal state the soul of a child remains throbbed with aura of Heaven .Immediately after its birth in this earth, ,it  begins to lose its heavenly glory .But the sweetnes of heaven in a greater part remains with it .This is why ,it is nearest to the truth .And hence truth is revealed to it .

On the basis of this idea ,Wordsworth formulates his theory of child as a seer .

My own discrimination on Wordsworth's theory of per-natal glory  ,finds no poetic truth .For in a child human instincts remain buried , they wait to be developed  with time . There is neither heavenly mother , nor nurse like earth .To support my idea , Blake's Songs of Experience are helpful .A grown up man can be a seer if he can kill his base instincts by reformation of habit and desire .

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