Essay about Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

2293 Words Apr 4th, 2014 10 Pages
Themes in Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey
Full Title: "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey; On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye During a Tour, July 13, 1798.
Man and the Natural World
This is one of the most important ideas of "Tintern Abbey." The speaker of this poem has discovered, in his maturity, that his appreciation of natural beauty has allowed him to recognize a divine power in nature. Wordsworth comes up with this idea in "Tintern Abbey," and then really explores and develops it. Nature means several things in the context of this poem: it can mean 1) physical nature, or 2) it can mean the sense of unity or connection between everything, or 3) it can refer to a divine "presence" in Nature, like Mother
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At the age of twenty-three (in August of 1793), Wordsworth had visited the desolate abbey alone. In 1798 he returned to the same place with his beloved sister, Dorothy Wordsworth, who was a year younger. Dorothy is referred to as "Friend" throughout the poem.
Often the poem is simply called "Tintern Abbey." The abbreviated title is effective for clarity's sake, but it is also misleading, as the poem does not actually take place in the abbey. Wordsworth begins his poem by telling the reader that it has been five years since he has been to this place a few miles from the abbey. He describes the "Steep and lofty cliffs," the "wild secluded scene," the "quiet of the sky," the "dark sycamore" he sits under, the trees of the orchard, and the "pastoral farms" with "wreaths of smoke" billowing from their chimneys.
In the fourth stanza, Wordsworth begins by explaining the pleasure he feels at being back in the place that has given him so much joy over the years. He is also glad because he knows that this new memory will give him future happiness: "in this moment there is life and food / for future years." He goes on to explain how differently he experienced nature five years ago, when he first came to explore the area. During his first visit he was full of energy. Wordsworth quickly sets his current self apart from the way he was five years ago, saying, "That time is past." At first, however, he seems almost melancholy about the change: "And all its

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