Wordsworth's Poetical Works

Analysis of "A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal" College

Wordsworth’s “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” is a short and powerful poem that centers around the loss of someone close to the speaker. The poem is composed of two four line stanzas, which both follow a simple ABAB rhyme scheme and are based on the abstract and unnamed concept of death.. The poem refers, as the title suggests, to a slumber that has had a profound effect on the speaker, and to a girl that the reader can assume to be dead. The poem, although shrouded in ambiguity, possesses a unique emotional draw, which Wordsworth achieves through stylistic choices such as the simplicity of language, juxtaposed images, and, ironically, the absence of identifying details.

“A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” is told from the first person perspective, although the speaker is not the main focus of the poem; it is instead focused predominantly on a girl whom the speaker has chosen to leave unnamed. Of the poem’s eight lines, only the first two refer to the speaker himself, and the remainder of the poem centers entirely around the girl—referred to by the speaker as “she”—who remains unidentified for the duration of the poem. This is perhaps the poem’s most distinctive characteristic: it is shrouded throughout in ambiguity. Both the speaker...

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