William Wordsworth's Poetry Essay

1382 words - 6 pages

Poetry is one of the hardest, but most important literary techniques that has only been mastered by few authors. One of the best poets is William Wordsworth who relied upon lyric poetry, made history. However, many people have debated what the purpose of his writing was. For every author, there is a calling. For John Milton, it was to please God. For Edgar Allan Poe, it was to escape from reality. Yet, literary critic Harold Bloom describes what he believed was Wordsworth’s purpose: “The fear of mortality haunts much of Wordsworth’s best poetry, especially in regard to the premature mortality of the Imagination and the loss of its creative joy.” In other words, he felt like he was inevitably going to lose his creativity, and he had to write the most he could. Through looking at William Wordsworth’s best poetry: Tintern Abbey, Prelude, The World Is Too Much With Us, and London 1802 each portray the accuracy within Bloom’s critique.
First of all, we must look at the text Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth to understand his ultimate fear of the death of imagination. Ever since one was a child, they were given an imagination. Yet, is it possible to lose it? What if someone had writers block, for the rest of their life? Although this possibility requires imagination, it’s something everyone should consider. In a melancholic way, Wordsworth describes his past in this poem: “That time is past, and all its aching joys are now no more, and all its dizzy raptures. Not for this faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts have followed; for such loss, I would believe, abundant recompense. For I have learned to look on nature, not as in the hour of thoughtless youth…” (pg. 783 lines 83-90) Wordsworth is remembering a time when he had no worries, and it reflects a time of peace. But he continues in his poem to worry about the future and of his sister. David Lehman describes this poem perfectly: “The poem is a triumph emotionally. The seemingly spontaneous overflow of feelings in the last movement of the poem—the prayer addressed to Dorothy Wordsworth—may bring tears to your eyes. I know no finer or more tender expression of a man's love for his sister. The poem is a triumph, too, of the ‘cheerful faith’ that reconciles us to losses and compensates for them. It comes as close as Wordsworth ever did to achieving a metrical ideal: the language approaching prose, with the fixed meter acting as a firm restraint.” (Lehman, 2013) This is just one example of the many ways in which he misses ignorance, but accepts the inevitability of losing his creativity and his touch in nature.
Secondly, William Wordsworth’s poem The Prelude also describes references to the fear of creativity’s mortality. In this poem, he’s writing about the political sphere during the French Revolution. A time full of chaos and upheaval, Wordsworth wrote concerning the problems. Kathleen M. Lynch describes the importance of this text when she states: "The imagination is not a...

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