Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern

Abbey By William Wordsworth Essay, Research Paper

William Wordsworth is commonly regarded as the vanguard poet of the Romantic

movement in British literature. The son of a wealthy Cumberland attorney, his birth followed the

dawn of the English Industrial Revolution. Afforded an education not uncommon of the British

bourgeoisie, Wordsworth attended St. John?s College, Cambridge, studying literature and

rhetoric, prior to the advent of the French Revolution. Having fallen prey to his keen interest in

the excitement of French revolutionary ideology, Wordsworth spent the next several years in

France with his lover, Annette Vallon. He was heavily influenced by the works of the French

revolutionaries and was impressed with an intense desire to bring similar power and fervor to his

own work. A pioneer of free verse, Wordsworth sought to cast off all literary convention,

expressing often controversial political and religious opinions through his simply-written poetry

and prose. Wordsworth?s ?Lyrical Ballads? became the consummate expression of the author?s

vibrant and effulgent new style. Wordsworth?s most famous poem, ?Lines Composed a Few Miles

Above Tintern Abbey? was included as the last item in his collection of ?Lyrical Ballads.? The

poem expresses the author?s nearly pantheistic love of nature and his longing for humanity?s

eventual reunification with the natural world.

As ?Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey? opens, we are met the narrator,

standing pensively on the Banks of the Wye river, revisited after five years absence. He is lost in

the bitter-sweet recollection of the bygone days of his youth, spent frolicking along its shores. He

describes a sacred place, a refuge from the storms of the outside world. He speaks almost

reverently of the scenes magnanimity and the thought of introspection that it inspires, explaining,

?. . .Once again/ Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,/That on a wild secluded scene impress/

Thoughts of more deep seclusion? (552, l. 5-8). Wordsworth?s veneration of nature was typical of

the Romantic lyricists, who often practiced forms of pantheism and mysticism, seeking

transcendence through natural awareness.

Early in the poem, the author focus resides upon the physical and aethetic pleasures that

surround. He is seduced by the ?beauteous,? lush, green forms that beset him.


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