Last Updated September 5, 2023.
“We Are Seven” is a 1798 poem written by William Wordsworth, published as a part of his collection of poems titled Lyrical Ballads. It consist of 69 lines which are separated in 17 stanzas. The poem depicts the conversation between the narrator and a “little cottage girl”, who talk about the little girl’s six siblings. We learn that two of her siblings have died. However, the girl firmly believes that her siblings live on because she still loves them. Just because there are no longer seven children in the house, doesn’t mean that there’re not together.
At first we believe that perhaps the little girl is in denial, and can’t accept or cope with her siblings’ deaths. But, as we continue reading, we see that the narrator begins to realize that the girl is, in fact, very wise and knows much more about life and death than him, or any other adult for that matter. The speaker realizes that the girl, whom he deemed foolish and illogical at first, is very mature for her age, and didn’t allow her siblings’ death to sadden or depress her; instead, she continued to love them and feel for them, as if they were still alive.
The main theme in the poem is, obviously, the love all siblings share. An interesting element about the poem is that the fact that the girl is certain and confident that she will see her siblings again. She fondly remembers the times she spent with them, and joyfully expects the moment in which she will meet them again. Thus, life after death is perhaps a secondary theme of “We Are Seven”.