Wordsworth's Poetical Works

Wordsworth: The Young and the Wise

"Resolution and Independence" and "Lines Written Above Tintern Abbey" respectively illustrate the difference between a young and nave poet-wanderer to a traveler who has found wisdom through time and nature. Furthermore, the two poems are also able to elucidate dissimilar types of acquired wisdom through the poet-figure "Tintern Abbey" who ultimately receives abundant recompense for the loss of the sounds of his youth and the old leech-gatherer of "Resolution and Independence" who receives no recompense for his lost vibrancy.

A prominent emblem for youth in "Resolution and Independence" is the music of the natural world surrounding the character, thus explaining how the loss of it becomes an indication of the loss of youth for the speaker in "Tintern Abbey." The younger figure expresses delight in "The birds...singing in the distant woods... / The Jay [making] answer as the Magpie chatters; / And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters" (Resolution, lines 4-7). The imagery of familiar sounds of the outside world presents a dynamic life, wanting of nothing outside what the earth offers. "Tintern Abbey" starkly contrasts this passage in a...

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