William Wordsworth As A Poet Of Nature With Reference To Tintern Abbey

William Wordsworth is considered as the High Priest of Nature. His works are characterized by his credo of reflecting a great admiration and love towards Nature. He launched his poetic career with the publication of An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches. He is also known for his collaboration with Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the publication of Lyrical Ballads which heralded the Dawn of Romanticism in the history of English Literature.

William Wordsworth considers himself as a Poet of Nature or rather a pantheist. His poem, Tintern Abbey which is an autobiographical work throws light on the poet's love for Nature. He describes the plain beside the River Wye in Tintern Abbey as well as his state of mind and perception about Nature. His devotion and love towards Nature is expressed without any barrier or restraint coming in between.

The poet considers himself as a worshipper of nature in Tintern Abbey. It seems nature brings out the best that's inherent in the poet. The sight of the "sportive woods run wild" gives him a sense of freedom and sublimity. According to the poet, nature is an all engulfing entity, and he considers himself as a follower of nature. Tintern Abbey gives a vivid sketch of his progress for the love nature. The description which it gives convinces and impacts one profoundly.

The poet believes in the restorative power of nature and says that, nature can restore and mend the sick with her 'soothing palm'. Amidst the 'dins' and noise of the 'hectic city' the poet conjures up the image of the 'serene Wye' which always unfailingly revives his tired limbs and soul. He feels the healing power of nature in his 'heart' and senses it flowing through his blood. He is a part of nature and at one with her. Nature has a way of repairing and restoring herself when damaged and bruised, and Wordsworth as a devoted follower of nature has succeeded in losing himself in perfect harmony with her.

In the poem, Tintern Abbey he also describes his growth and development along with the forces of nature. Nature had played a dominant role during his growing years. Even when still a young boy he had discovered the generously given joy and blessings of nature. In the presence of nature, he became an untamed boy, full of energy and lightness. There had been a time when he had 'like a roe' bounded over the hills and plains following the path of nature "more like a man running from something he dreads". These experiences of free-spiritedness and submission to the lure and beckons of nature gave him immense enlightenment and relieve from the stress and burns of reality.

His love for nature during his youth went a notch higher. It was more like a man's love for his sweetheart. Nature was like a beautiful maiden and Wordsworth, no doubt, sported a healthy blush on the cheeks whenever he is in the presence of nature. "The sounding cataract" and the deep and dark woods haunted him "like a passion". This love for nature still went another notch higher when he attained manhood. The love and interpretation of nature grew more profound at this stage. He discovered nature as a living entity 'whose dwelling is the light of the setting sun, the round ocean, and the living air'. Nature, he realized was an omnipotent force. What he experienced during his youthful days was replaced by the 'serene mood' and the 'sublime feelings'. He began to see nature as his source for emancipation and deliverance, 'knowing that, nature never did betray the heart that loved her'. here the word, 'knowing' carries the full force of his conviction regarding the dependability of nature. The word is enough to convince one about the nature of his love for nature, and there is no argument in the authenticity of his views about nature..

Hence, in Tintern Abbey we see that, Wordsworth had the right knowledge about nature which gave him enough reasons to become a pantheist or a "Worshipper of nature". There is no doubt that, nature happened to be the force and inspiration in moulding and creation of a legendary figure in the History of English Literature-William Wordsworth.

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Guest Author: Amitava Dutta08 Jul 2014

Thank you.Very helpful notes.
Can you provide me some discussions on Wordsworth's philosophy revealed in Tintern Abbey?

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