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Wordsworth Practices What He Preaches Essay

870 words - 4 pages

Wordsworth Practices What He Preaches

Though written after “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey,” Wordsworth’s “Preface to Lyrical Ballads,” clearly details his writing objectives. In “Tintern Abbey,” William Wordsworth sought to make poetry understandable to the common reader by simplifying the meanings, organizing his pattern of thoughts in a coherent manner, and using poetical devices sparingly. In the poem, Wordsworth reminisces under a dark sycamore about his experiences and realities, while looking down on the ruins of a temple of God. He expresses his philosophy on these experiences and realities, both past and present, relating God and Nature as one entity. He ...view middle of the document...

Though he has expressed a variety of purposes, Wordsworth manages to keep them simplified by the division of the stanzas. In his “Preface,” he states the importance of “|following| the fluxes and refluxes of the mind when agitated by the great and simple affections of our nature.” “Tintern Abbey,” is divided into five stanzas: the first stanza describes the scenery; in the second, Wordsworth says how while meditating about the scenery “’mid the din/Of towns and cities,” he has “|seen| into the life of things”; the third stanza is an extension of the second, reemphasizing how his recollection of Nature has comforted him; the fourth stanza, Wordsworth reverts to his memory being revived by the present sight; in the fifth stanza, Wordsworth thanks his sister for the insight she has helped him discern. The coherent arrangement of the stanzas help give purpose because they illustrate Wordsworth’s recollections being interrupted by his philosophical tendencies. These tendencies, which he yields to, are an example of an acute awareness of the surroundings, which make him think deeply.

Few blatant devices are used in the poem in Wordsworth's effort to simplify and make his language; the “language really used by men.” Wordsworth also states in his “Preface,” that he wants to convey “feelings and notions in simple and unliberated expressions.” This is evident in “Tintern Abbey” because the progression of the stanzas reflects a subject-verb-pronoun form. In addition, to keep things simplified, Wordsworth uses devices like...

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