Turning tables william wordsworth

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  • 1. Skive Gymnasium Elevopgave midt 3g A niveau - elev over middel The assignment: Make an analysis and a comparison of 2 of the poems we have worked with in English Romantic Poetry. Apart from dealing with the contents of each of the poems, your analysis should include a comment on formal elements (such as rhyme, rhythm, repetitions, use of metaphors…) when these are important to the overall impression of the poem. Please note that “a comment on” means that you should not only identify them, but also comment on how they influence the way you read the poem. Ananalysis of and a comparison between “The Tables Turned” and “To Nature” When I use textual evidence and examples from the text, I will use full stop to mark the changing into a new line except for when there is another punctual mark in the poem already. The Tables Turned “The Tables Turned” is a poem written by the romantic poet William Wordsworth. The poem is created with iambs: the first and third lines are an iambic meter consisting of four iambs, while the second and fourth are an iambic tetrameter.When you use an iambic meter you create more of a flow when the poem is read out loud. The rhyming scheme in the poem is ABAB, for example in the first stanza where books at the end of the first line rhymes with looks in the third, and where double in the second rhymes with trouble in the fourth. Page 1 of 4 Bente Beck bbs@skivegym.dk
  • 2. Skive Gymnasium Elevopgave midt 3g A niveau - elev over middel William Wordsworth uses personifications to connect man and nature more closely. For example he uses a personification of the throstle in the fourth stanza:”And hark! How blithe the throstle sings! He, too, is no mean preacher”. He also uses the traditional personification Mother Nature in the poem, where he refers to nature as “she” (stanza five, line one). In the poem Wordsworth uses lots of words that we usually think of in connection to religion. He uses: preacher, blessand also says that “One impulse of vernal wood. May teach you more of man, Of moral evil and good. Than all the sages can”. Moral is also often used in connection with religion, because religion defines one true way of living. By using the words Wordsworth makes nature sublime and fills it with spirituality (Mother Nature is originally thought as being the female part of God). This idea that God is in everything is called pantheism, and Wordsworth definitely supports the pantheistic idea. In the poem Wordsworth criticizes the approach to knowledge, that was practiced in the Age of Enlightenment and which is still common in for example English classes. Wordsworth says in the very last line of the poem that “we murder to dissect”. Wordsworth believes that an analogical approach to knowledge and nature is destroying the beauty of it. Instead of recognizingthrough rationality, we ought to recognize through our senses – not tearing everything into little pieces trying to analyze it. All in all William Wordsworth is against a classical education. He urges people studying to quit their dull books and go out into nature and gain experiences of their own. He also says that the throstle is no mean preacher and that the student should “Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your Teacher”. Wordsworth cherishes nature as a source of wisdom and our senses as the truest way to recognition, by doing so Wordsworth is fitting very well into the romantic period. Page 2 of 4 Bente Beck bbs@skivegym.dk
  • 3. Skive Gymnasium Elevopgave midt 3g A niveau - elev over middel To Nature This is a poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The poem is actually a sonnet because it lives up the sonnet characteristics: it is composed with an iambic pentameter, it consists of fourteen lines and it has a couplet in the end. A couplet is when the two last lines rhyme. The rhyming scheme of the poem is ABBA/CBBC/DEDE/FF. There is a so-called turn in the rhyming scheme in line nine to twelve, where the rhyme changes from an ABBA-rhyme into a rhyme, where one line is separating the line from the one it rhymes with. A sonnet is often used when the poet wishes to distress the importance of the poem, because the sonnet is so well-known. In this case it fits very well with the context when Coleridge is making his poem more solemn. Similar to Wordsworth, Coleridge uses a lot of religious words such as piety, alter, belief etc. In the sonnet Coleridge is outside in nature. Nature brings him joy and he is sensing that it can learn him “Lessons of love and earnest piety”. He does not know if this is all something he is imagining or dreaming, but he does not care if it is only a dream because it feels very real to him. He is making the nature his altar or his church and he is imaging himself as a priest sacrificing the fragrance from the flowers to God: “And the sweet fragrance that the wild flower yields. Shall be the incense I will yield to Thee” (line eleven - twelve). Like the church the entire nature is a huge celebration of God’s creation, he is surrounded by the wonders of God and therefore there is bit of God’s spirit in every bit of nature. He knows that the incense of the flowers is a small sacrifice, but still he knows that God will not despise even him, that has made Page 3 of 4 Bente Beck bbs@skivegym.dk
  • 4. Skive Gymnasium Elevopgave midt 3g A niveau - elev over middel it. By saying so he presents God as being gracious, even to the ones that have little to sacrifice to him. Both Wordsworth and Coleridge are focused on the divine nature of nature. To both of the poets pantheism is a central idea in the way they look at the world. They both believe that nature, because of its divine creator, is a source of wisdom. They believe that when you are out in nature you can learn lessons of good and evil as well as love and piety. When you paint a painting some of you is reflected into your creation, and in the same way God is reflected in nature. Therefore Wordsworth and Coleridge agree that nature is the best way to true knowledge, if you bring your heart that watches and receives. Page 4 of 4 Bente Beck bbs@skivegym.dk