Being With Others

Topics: William Wordsworth, Poetry, Romantic poetry Pages: 2 (489 words) Published: April 16, 2014

The Solitary Reaper” is a short lyrical ballad, composed of thirty-two lines and divided into four stanzas, written by English Romantic poet William Wordsworth, and it is one of his best-known works. This poem was written during the poet's Scottish tour of 1803. The Solitary Reaper illustrates the beauty and importance of music found in nature and the solitude of the countryside. The poet orders his listener to behold a “solitary Highland lass” reaping and singing by herself in a field. He says that anyone passing by should either stop here, or “gently pass” so as not to disturb her. As she “cuts and binds the grain” she “sings a melancholy strain,” and the valley overflows with the beautiful, sad sound. The speaker says that the sound is more welcome than any chant of the nightingale to weary travelers in the desert, and that the cuckoo-bird in spring never sang with a voice so thrilling. The speaker wanted us to appreciate the beauty of the song, the passion he is feeling, and the beauty of sadness. During the speakers work, the poet describes to his readers how eloquently she sings a song, whose meaning he knows not but yet, can feel the song touch his heart, though he may not comprehend the real intent of the lyrics, the language being unknown to him. The poet, with artistic elements of poetry, compares the song of the Highland Lass with the relatively dim sweetness of other objects and he seems to be successful in his work of contrast, but despite his comparisons, he wonders what the meaning of the song might be. The isolation of the girl makes the speaker realize his own isolation. Her song makes him realize how art (music) transforms daily labor; he does the same by capturing the girl in a poem. Finally, the memory is timeless, even though the girl, the moment, the song, and the experience are all ephemeral, trapped in time and soon passing. Romantic poets cultivated individualism, reverence for the natural world, idealism, physical and emotional...
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