By the Sea

By the Sea

by William Wordsworth
 

 

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility;

The gentleness of heaven is on the sea:
Listen! The mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder -everlastingly.

Dear child! Dear girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:

Thou liest in Abraham’s bosom all the year,
And worshipp’st at the Temple’s inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.

 

I think that in the poem “By the Sea,” by William Wordsworth he is depressed and sad about a loss in his life of a girl and he sits by the sea quietly thinking.  Wordsworth just sat by the water “calm and free,” trying to comprehend how to live his life with out this girl.  The only thing Wordsworth can hear is the thunderous sound of the rolling ocean on the sand; because of that sound he believes the ocean is a mighty being.  In the third line of the second stanza he describes to sea to be, “…doth with his eternal motion make.”  I think this is describing the fact that the sea makes the repeating motion of the waves ebb and flows.  In the last line in the second stanza he describes the everlasting sound of the tide.  While Wordsworth is sitting on the beach he has the feeling of the girl being with him, and although he can not actually feel her touch he feels her presence, along with Gods.  I think although Wordsworth is depressed that the girl is gone and can’t be with him any longer, he knows deep down she is in a better place.  Also, the reason Wordsworth is sitting in silence is so he can feel like he is getting in touch with the girl.  This girl might have been more to Wordsworth than just a friend; I think he might have had deeper feelings for this girl.  Wordsworth was maybe seeing this girl during the time that he was married, so he had to go somewhere else to think about it so no one would find out about this feelings towards this girl.  Lots of Wordsworth’s other poetry could have to do with his feelings of the loss of this girl, and poetry could have been a way for him to get his feelings about the situation off his chest.  I also think that the girl that died could have been Lucy; Lucy is a young beautiful girl in one of his poems that he wrote.  I believe that Lucy and him might have been together and she died and he didn’t know how else to express his feelings other than poetry.

-Presley Lewis

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The Best of Blake

While looking through the blogs of my fellow students, I stumbled upon The Best of Blake created by Becca, Kendal and Pang.  I really enjoyed the video of the poem “The Tiger,” although it was a little creepy it was also quite humorous as well. The pictures they had with there post gave me a better picture of everything they were explaining.  My favorite part about the blog was Kendal’s prose poem.  It was really detailed, and I could totally picture everything that was going on.  Her poem made me feel like I was actually there experiencing it. It was really well written and had great imagery.  I also really liked Becca’s prose poem as well because it relates to everyone in the sense that people change there feelings and they change as a person throughout life.  Also as Becca described in her poem when you want something really bad you fix your attention to just that one things.  You don’t care how or what you do to get that one thing, but you will do anything for it.  Their blog was very organized and clear on who posted what and what the article was.  Nice and easy to navigate as well, and I really liked how they made the text move on there articles it gave to blog a little extra spice.

The Best of Blake would really help someone understand some of Blake’s poetry, and the deeper meaning behind some of the poetry he wrote.  All of the creators of the blog put detailed descriptions to help you paint a picture in your mind, so you understood what they thought the poem actually meant.  It also gives a little biography on Blake so you know his back ground of what his life was really like, that way you can understand more of the meaning of his poetry.

 -Presley Lewis

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Perfect Woman

Perfect Woman   

 by: William Wordsworth (1770-1850)

HE was a phantom of delight

When first she gleam’d upon my sight;

A lovely apparition, sent

To be a moment’s ornament;

Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;

Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;

But all things else about her drawn

From May-time and the cheerful dawn;

A dancing shape, an image gay,

To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

 

I saw her upon nearer view,

A Spirit, yet a Woman too!

Her household motions light and free,

And steps of virgin liberty;

A countenance in which did meet

Sweet records, promises as sweet;

A creature not too bright or good

For human nature’s daily food;

For transient sorrows, simple wiles,

Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.

 

And now I see with eye serene

The very pulse of the machine;

A being breathing thoughtful breath,

A traveller between life and death;

The reason firm, the temperate will,

Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;

A perfect Woman, nobly plann’d,

To warn, to comfort, and command;

And yet a Spirit still, and bright

With something of angelic light.

I believe that William Wordsworth wrote the “Perfect Woman” about his beloved wife Mary Hutchinson.  Many of the stanzas have great detail explaining how she was like an angel or a ghostly figure.  For example, in the first stanza, on the first line he refers to her as “…a phantom of delight,” which is to say that she is unreal, yet delightful and also stunning.  He also describes her eyes as “…stars of twilight fair.”  I think he means that her eyes are dark and mysterious yet have a twinkle in them, and they catch peoples’ attention.  Her hair was also described as dusky, so almost dark yet it still has a shiny glow to it.

In the second stanza he says she’s, “A Spirit, yet a Woman too!” meaning although she might be ghostly looking and to good to be true, she is a real woman.  He talks about her love, kisses, tears, and smile and that is showing that she really is a human figure and she is not just in his dreams or thoughts.  Line two in the second stanza he describes her doing household chores yet being swift, calm, and gentle while doing so, making her again seem ghostly yet she is doing normal human activities.  I think the whole second stanza is relating her back to reality and showing that she isn’t ghostly that she is human.

 The last stanza he is describing the rest of her characteristics, how she can be comforting making someone feel support or how she will command and put her foot down and stand up for what is right.  Line two in the stanza he compares her to a machine, like she has to be programmed by someone because she is too good to be true.  He truly feels she is perfect, inside and out.  All of her characteristics make her the woman of his dreams, because she is ghostly yet beautiful, hard yet swift, sweet, light, free and bright.  She was everything a man wanted and he was amazed by her.     

-Presley Lewis

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Wordsworth’s ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud.” Review.

 

In 1998, David Joplin wrote the article “Wordsworth’s ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud.’ (William Wordsworth’s poem).” about the pun usage in the poem “I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud”. In the first paragraph, the author, having read many poetic works including that of Wordsworth, compares Wordsworth’s style with other writing styles; that Wordsworth is often very serious (as opposed to being playful) when wording his poems. But if one were to pay enough attention, they would notice subtle plays on words in Wordsworth’s poems. The author explores the possible deeper meanings of these puns when Wordsworth describes the field of flowers as a “host”. He says “The ‘Host’ is a ‘crowd’ of flowers… ‘a great company; a multitude; a large number.'” By focusing on the interpretation of a single pun in the poem, the author delves deeper into not only the mind of the poem’s narrator, but the mind of the author. As William Wordsworth is the topic of this blog, the article suits our needs and would even have been an appropriate post on this blog.

David Joplin and I agree that the daffodils are anthropomorphized in the author’s mind. The daffodils are described as “A crowd, a host, of golden daffodils.” By calling the flowers a crowd, he makes them seem more human like to Wordsworth. They are a crowd of beautiful, dancing flowers amongst other pieces of nature, such as the bay and the stars, that are also part of the dance. But they flowers are described by Wordsworth to be, not just part of the dance, they seem to be leading it. The host, as Joplin says, is the “agent that entertains… a master of ceremonies.” He says that the daffodils, as the hosts, treat Wordsworth to a show which effected him profoundly. I didn’t see it so much as a show, but as a social gathering Wordsworth has stumbled upon; in my mind, the daffodils put together a grand dance and invited the lake and the stars. Then when Wordsworth stumbled upon it, the daffodils, being gracious hosts, invite Wordsworth in to enjoy it. Then Joplin goes on to explain how the experience did not only move the author, but help him to attain an “elevated state of mind.” In the last stanza, Wordsworth tells of a time when he was unhappy and when he thought of the flowers again, he felt better. They “flash[ed] upon that inner eye” Joplin quotes, then says “Images of the daffodils open his ‘inward eye'”.  To Joplin, the eye can be a symbol, or a reference, to the Eye of God. The Eye of God is constellation that looks like exactly what one would think, a great eye in the sky. Joplin doesn’t explain much about the eye, just that it links our mind’s eyes to this one. They Eye of God is a perfect image of how God supposedly is always watching. One could imagine this really is God’s eye. If the mind’s eye is like this one, Joplin explains, “The ‘inward eye’ [is] to be seen as the spiritual center of the mind.” I agree because it is with the Christians’ “inward eye” that they picture and believe god is there. Also, with the inner eye, one can see anything, as if they were looking down upon it from space. By opening Wordsworth’s “inward eye” says Joplin, “The initiating ‘host’ therefore, comes through wordplay to occupy the role of initiating priest.” The priest is who many ask for advice when they don’t know where else to go, and they receive spiritual advice to help with their problems, many are inspired to pray to God on their own. The daffodils did this for Wordsworth. But Joplin continues to delve deeper into the meanings of the pun by taking it into even more religious context. He tells about how the experience “enables the poet to participate in a kind of spiritual beauty associated with nature.” He says that from this, we can see the host as the bread (body of Jesus) in communion at church as the daffodils take Wordsworth to a higher level of spiritual understandings. One thing I noticed about the poem that Joplin hadn’t was another pun on “host” being like the Heavenly Host which is an army of angels in heaven. The daffodils being a “host” of ten thousand to protect or uphold nature or the spiritual connection with nature.

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William Wordsworth


One of five children, born on April 7th in 1770, William Wordsworth was the second eldest of his parents, Anne and John Wordsworth. John was a law agent and a rent collector, so the family was better off then most . William attended Hawshead Grammar School after his mother had passed  away in 1778. After graduating from St. Johns College in 1791, William met and had an affair with Annette Vallon when he was visiting France.  The following year in 1792 their daughter Caroline was born. However, shortly after, he had to return back to England because of the Anglo-French war, and because he was broke.  Due to the war he couldn’t travel to France again for another nine years.  During the nine-year gap he reunited with his sister Dorothy, who became his close friend and housekeeper.  Also, he met Coleridge at this time.  Coleridge, Dorothy, and William grew very close, and the two men met everyday in 1798.  They mainly met to talk about poetry and to plan their Lyrical Ballads, which later were published in 1798.  After the three traveled to Germany, William and Dorothy settled down in Grasmere until Peace of Amiens allowed Wordsworth to visit Annette and Caroline.  After returning back home from France, William married Marry Hutchinson in 1802, and had 5 more children by 1810.  William suffered from some depression after his brother was lost at sea in 1805.  Finally, in 1813 the Wordsworth’s family, including Dorothy moved to Rydal Mount, where he spent the rest of his life.  The last couple of years of Wordsworth’s life were filled with sadness and sorrow, especially after his only daughter with Mary, Dora had passed away.
William Wordsworth wrote his first Lyrical Ballad in 1798 with the help of Samuel Coleridge.  Wordsworth focused most of his poems on heroes, nature, children, the poor, common people.  He used ordinary words to express personal feelings.  In 1787 he published a sonnet in The European Magazine.  He also published an autobiographical poem in 1850; however it was written in 1805.  Along with William, his sister Dorothy published travel books and journals, such as Grasmere Journals and The Alfoxden Journal.  In the Alfoxden she describes the relationship between Coleridge and her brother.  Wordsworth along with other poets, wrote many different poems explaining what he pictured in life, and showing what was important to him in life.

-Presley Lewis

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‘Minute Obeisances’

In the article “Minute Obeisance: Beasts, Birds and Wordsworth’s Ecological Credentials,” by  Christine Kenyon Jones.  Jones summarizes what the nature in Wordsworth’s poems are symbolizing and why he uses nature to enhance the meaning and give the reader a vivid picture for them to easily comprehend.  All poems that Wordsworth wrote had some type of nature included in them. Jones believed that the main reason nature was used by Wordsworth was to show the importance of it in writing.  She also thinks in some poems by Wordsworth the nature he uses symbolizes someone, something, or a place.  Wordsworth came to the conclusion that nature is a large part of everyone’s life and everyone can relate to it, and he finally realized that most people take nature for granted.  We know it’s around us, but we don’t always stop to appreciate it.  Jones explains that Wordsworth really believed that animals were important to the world because they had their own voice. For example in the article she explains that “Because animals have consciousness and volition and yet do not speak, they occupy the margin between ‘the mute’ and ‘the brute’: between the electively and the non-electively silent.” This quote is basically saying although they don’t speak like humans, they do however have their own language.  Dogs bark, cats meow, cows moo, and so on.  Even though they do not use our language we understand them.  Jones explains in her article that Wordsworth believed that people don’t realize the necessity of animals in everyday life. They keep the world balanced and at an equilibrium, in the network and circle of life. Without animals there would be no meat to eat, no horses to ride. Without horses for transportation there would have been no way to get from here to there.  He had  respect for animals and nature, and he used it in his poetry and writings. It brought out a lot of character in the poems, and it was easy to imagine what Wordsworth was talking about. Wordsworth was upset with humans because they didn’t see life the way he did, and they dwelled on things such as dying and not having enough money, when they should just enjoy the things that they have now. In other words, enjoy the little things in life! In the fragment of the prelude he states, “Like an amphibious work of Nature’s hand, A borderer dwelling betwixt life and death, A living statue or statued life”. In this passage he is saying that we are just there, not making a difference, just observing, and that people are never happy with what they have. The nature used by Wordsworth interpreted our blog because our blog is about Wordsworth and most of his poems had nature in it, so nature was a big thing for him and his writing.
After reading the article, I definitely agree with what Jones is saying. I believe that Wordsworth was putting in the nature to relate to the reader and give them a sense of what he was thinking, and a clear idea of what Wordsworth was saying in his writings. He’ll compare people’s personalities to nature, like in the poem “Lucy” he compares Lucy to a fresh rose in June.  Comparing her to the rose signifies that she is young, beautiful and vibrant.  Although we don’t think about it all the time, animals have their own way of communicating with us for example dogs; they scratch the door when their hungry, they run around in circles when they are happy, they growl when they get protective or aggravated.  Animals are more than just pets, they are a part of the circle of life and contribute to things that we humans do everyday. We overlook the purposes for some animals, such as spiders: they may send chills down your spine, or give you the jitters, but they keep many little bugs away. As well as with snakes, they are slimy and slithery but they eat rodents, and keep the number of them down. People do not always think about these things like that, Wordsworth respected all types of nature and animals. He realized the importance of all the aspects of nature: rain, wind, sun, cold, heat, thunder, and he utilized the these things in his writing to describe things in a more clear view.

-Presley Lewis

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Invincible Me

My wheels spinning, my heart is pounding out of my chest, as I try to slam on my breaks, but it’s too late. I’m trying to jerk the wheel in the opposite direction, but it’s too late.  I feel the sliding and slamming but I see nothing but black.  I later open my eyes to the sight of red, looking down all I see is red.  Hopeless and confused, can’t move or make a sound, to weak to do anything but sit in a pile of wet cool blood.  I feel the cold breeze on this crisp night, nothing around me and there is no sound to be made, and then I go back to my dark place.  Hearing my name over and over again, and then I feel the pain all over, head throbbing, legs aching, everything hurts.  Where am I?  Why is their blood?  Looking around and I start to remember.  Moaning with pain as they try to get my leg free, finally out of the horrible wreckage, I lie on white sheets while shivering.  I fall back into darkness, and everything shuts down.  My parents sit in the waiting room devastated, while the doctor’s pound on my chest and hope for a miracle, but there is nothing else that can be done.  My parents sob with cries to the news that their little girls gone.  Looking down I see my love ones hurt, I never thought it would happen to me…I was invincible, and it wasn’t in the cards for me.  Sitting up here, I wonder what I could I have been, how I could have changed the world, what would my wedding gown have looked like, what kind of mother I would have been, but if I wouldn’t have been drinking…I would have had that chance.

-Presley Lewis

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