Is William Wordsworth ia poet of nature? Discuss.
Wordsworth's Poetical Works Questions
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Discuss William Wordsworth as a poet of nature. Justify your answer.
His poems often present an instant when nature speaks to him and he responds by speaking for nature. The language of nature in such instances is, like the language Wordsworth uses to record such events, often cryptic and enigmatic. The owls in the often-quoted "Boy of Winander" passage of The Prelude hoot to a Wordsworthian child who answers first in their owl-language and then with a poem that records only the mirroring image of an "uncertain heaven," the dark sky reflected in a still silent lake. Wordsworth longs for a version of nature that will redeem him from the vagaries of passing moments, but he usually records those natural phenomena that promise only the passing of time and the cyclical transience of natural process. "Nutting" holds us up painfully against the ravaging of a pristine and naturally spiritualized bower. The Lucy poems tells us that Lucy is back into nature at her death, but that consolation seems small recompense for the humanized "nature" of the loss. The Prelude wants to keep us in touch with a childhood and subsequent adult identity realized within the natural world; at the same time, however, this autobiographical epic leaves adult readers feeling a long way from the "spots of time" of childhood. Nothing in Wordsworth is simple or singular; like Milton, he is a poet who almost resists the possibility of final or definitive interpretation. His view of nonhuman nature is likewise open-ended. Wordsworth's "nature" points us away from the closed world of theocentric symbol-making toward the unstable world of postmodern meaning." (Ashton Nichols)
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