Wordsworth

Sunny Sharma

Poetry, like wine, is an acquired taste. In my experience, people either love it or dismiss it as pretentious; there is very little middle ground. Absolutely, there are incredibly flowery poets out there (one only has to Google Shakespeare) who are trying to be grandiose. I greatly prefer I the beauty in Wordsworth’s poetry, in that it is elegantly simple, and anyone can feel the emotions he is trying to convey on paper. “Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey” is a perfect example of Wordsworth’s masterful ability to bring us to this particular moment in time, years and years ago. My favorite passage is on page 111, “Wherever nature led;more like a man/Flying from something that he dreads, than one/Who sought the thing he loved.” In just one line I see the inner reflection, almost turmoil, that Wordsworth has over understanding his past self, the last time he was at Tintern Abbey. It is a feeling that is universal, to spend so much time grappling with what once was, with who we were, “I cannot paint/What then I was”. This poem is not about Wordsworth describing Tintern Abbey (in fact there is not a line¬† describing¬† the abbey) but about the relation between a physical place and who Wordsworth was the last time he was there. In this poem not only can I visualize the “mountains,by the sides/Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams” but I can also feel how “like a roe/I bounded”. Wordsworth is completely raw and emotional with the reader, without sounding contrived or affected, achieving what I believe is the ultimate goal in any kind of writing.

Questions:

Are there any possible connections between Hacking and his work regarding the indeterminacy of the past?

Why is Wordsworth’s poetry still read? Is there any value in continuing to do so?

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