Wordsworth's Poetical Works
How the Lyrical Ballads Portray a Natural and Exuberant Sense of Life?
‘Lines’ opens with a celebration of natural life and its exuberance, ‘the red-breast sings from his tall larch’. Here the singing robin is portrayed through metonymy giving a sense that it is something accessible and familiar to the common people. The singing ‘red breast’ and 'tall larch' are dual symbols of joy and renewal, linked through the idea of nature being a constant source of vitality. This idea is particularly true, when placed in the context of spring 'the first mild day of March' as it represents the start of the fertile year and epitomises growth and rebirth. Birds held metaphorical significance for Romantic poets (‘the Nightingale’, albatross in ‘Rime’ and woodland linnet/ throstle in ‘Tables Turned’) as they symbolise freedom through their flight and offer perspectives that humans are unable to. Through the contemplation of natural forms, Wordsworth and Coleridge thought, one could attune into a transcendental quasi-religious experience and achieve a sense of joyful fulfilment, which could be viewed as exuberant.
In this way, nature releases a force within the human mind allowing us to achieve a state of euphoria and heightened awareness of the ‘life in things’. Later in the poem Wordsworth states,
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 821 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 6114 literature essays, 1715 sample college application essays, 245 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in