Tintern Abbey: Seeing into the Life of Things Essay

Decent Essays

Tintern Abbey: Seeing into the Life of Things

What does Wordsworth see when he 'sees into the life of things?'; Remember that in the lines leading up to his portrayal of the 'blessed mood'; that gives him sight, Wordsworth has been pointing to the power of human memory and reflection. And the importance of memory and reflection are made plain by the shifting time perspectives in the poem. The poem begins with the speaker on the banks of the Wye for the first time in five years. At first the poet emphasizes the way in which his present experience is similar to that of five years ago. More than once he tells us that 'again'; he has certain experiences in this secluded spot, a …show more content…

They come so freely from us that it is only in retrospect that we recognize them for what they were. However they are the true measure of what we are, and what we are is determined in large part by what we remember of our lives, by the shape we give our lives in memory. It is the recollection of good memories, the naming of nameless pleasures, that help make us the kind of people who commit nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.
So the mood that leads the author to see into the life of things begins with recollection and memory, of pleasures of good deeds. But these memories occur in what seems like and otherwise dreary time for the author, when he is weary and lonely. They occur in times when the 'fever of the world'; has burdened the author, when his worries have lead him to fruitless endeavors, and when he has suffered from the 'evil tongues,'; 'rash judgments,' and 'the sneers of selfish men'; he points to later in the poem. Memories of the Wye raise the author's spirits, and distance him from the concerns of his daily life. The author is able to step back and look at himself from above. The vision he presents of the soul leaving the body is not one of death but of release from the concerns of every day life. The author's soul floats above his body. From

Get Access