Education of Nature

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The 2100 word essay entitled ‘William
Wordsworth and Lucy’, on the English
essay resource page of the London
School of Journalism (http://
www.english-literature.org/essays/
wordsworth-lucy.html) discusses five of William Wordsworth’s (1770-1850) poems - 'Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known',
'She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways',
'I Travelled Among Unknown Men', 'Three
Years She Grew in Sun and Shower' and 'A
Slumber Did My Spirit Seal' – known as the ‘Lucy’ poems, and how they conform to Wordsworth’s concept of poetry as
outlined in his Preface to ‘Lyrical
Ballads’ (1800). These poems are counted
among Wordsworth’s finest,
notwithstanding the question over the identity of ‘Lucy’ that now seems to settle on her being a figment of his
imagination, a persona of his deep
affection for his sister Dorothy.
Illustrating each point with excerpts from
one or more of these five poems and from the Preface, the essay makes the following points: Contrary to notions of
decorum prevalent in his days, the poet
relied on passion, emotion and feeling.
The love for Lucy, “the joy of desire”, is
intense and all-consuming as is the sorrow at her loss. He felt her presence everywhere around him and even his love
for his country (a sign of Romanticism, a
period in literary history Wordsworth is
said to belong to) could be traced to this
love for Lucy. Grief is deep and stark, infusing everything, all nature and signs of earlier happiness with poignancy. Lucy
was Wordsworth’s preferred character,
solitary and innocent; “humble and rustic”
in whom the “essential passions” with
permanent appeal reside. This poet stressed on the strength of simplicity. Imagination that transformed the
“ordinary” into the “unusual” was of
tremendous significance to Wordsworth
and Lucy is proof of this transforming
power. In spite of being unobtrusive and
unknown, she is matchless and almost
other-worldly, “Fair as a star, when only
one / Is shining in the sky.” and...
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