Write a critical introduction to the Lucy Poems by Wordsworth.
Wordsworth in 1799 wrote a number of poems about a girl called Lucy who died when she was young. These poems feature a recurring theme of Wordsworth's work, which is the way in which childhood is presented as a wonderful period of life because children are able to have a much more visceral and intense bond with nature than they can when they grow up. The Lucy poems, including "Strange fits of passion have I known" and "She dwelt among untrodden ways," are written in homage to Lucy's beauty and also this connection she had with nature.
Of course, what is so fascinating about Lucy for Wordsworth is that through her death she maintains this strong connection with nature and the innocence that she would have lost if she had not died. It is therefore better for her to have died than to have grown up and to have led a life that was characterised by dissatisfaction. Critics sharply disagree over whether Lucy was a real person or not, or whether actually she was a projection of Wordsworth's unrequited love for another figure. Either way, these poems represent some of the most memorable of Wordsworth's poems.