Carefully Read the Poem Simon Lee by William Wordsworth (Romantic Writings: an Anthology Pp.60-63). Write an Essay of Not More Than 1,500 Words in Which You Analyse the Poem and Comment on the Poetic Form and Language

Topics: Poetry, Rhyme, Romanticism Pages: 4 (1547 words) Published: March 2, 2010
Simon Lee the Old Huntsman is a poem which occurs in Lyrical Ballads and was written in 1798, belonging, thus, temporally to the Romantic period (1780-1830). Romantic writing is commonly identified with some key elements, which concern imagination, nature, symbolism and myth (although there have been writers of this period who were not as ‘mainstream’). William Wordsworth has been characterised as a canonical author of Romantic Poetry in that his work is highly attached to the notion of Nature and plenty of reference is made to it. Approaching a piece of literary work, however, from this perspective is very restraining, therefore, in this essay we will attempt a ‘social’ or ‘historical’ kind of approach. We shall try to ‘read’ the idealistic language found in the poem as social or historical discourse through the poetic techniques employed by the writer. In other words, we will analyse the way various elements of poetic form and language combine to create meaning and effects. Simon Lee is about an old huntsman who, while was once strong and active, now strives to fight his declined health and strength. The poem recounts an actual encounter of the poet with this old man. It seems to be a hybrid of lyric and narrative (a lyrical ballad). Lyric in that we have a first-person expression of emotion and concentration upon the actions and feelings of an individual at a particular moment, while narrative, since there is a narrator and another character, whom the former encounters and, later, describes. There are 12 stanzas of eight lines each with a rhyme scheme of ABABCDED that causes the lines to flow smoothly. The first stanza of the poem introduces us with Simon and sets the scene: ‘In the sweet shire of Cardigan’. It is obvious from the beginning that Wordsworth is dealing with a matter from common life, since every reader is familiar with and can picture a sweet shire, the same way the notion of ‘pleasant’ is easy to grasp. Furthermore, a series of modest,...
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