Wordsworth's Poetical Works

“Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey”

Wordsworth’s pastoral poem “Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey” eloquently expresses the poet’s feelings of ambivalence regarding maturation, nature, and modern society. The poem is formatted in a distinct approach that serves to highlight the poet’s own conflicting emotions. Wordsworth initiates the composition by presenting himself as revisiting a beautiful and sprawling landscape he once enjoyed as a child. In proceeding through his maturation into an adult, he begins to describe a new environment—one of a cold and selfish modern society. The din and darkness of his new adult life serves as a stark contrast to the peace and tranquility of the riverbank he holds in his nostalgia. As the poem unfolds, Wordsworth allows himself to return to his place of serenity not only in his memories, but also through the eyes of his younger sister. He projects his own faded recollections of youth onto her and utilizes this opportunity to return to the banks of the Wye. As he is now too old, or perhaps too jaded and world-weary, to truly return, he relishes in the novelty of the sister’s experience at the riverbank.

The poem opens with invocations of time and familiarity. In the first two lines, Wordsworth demonstrates, through...

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