Tintern Abbey- Line by Line Explanation
Five years have passed………….the quiet of the sky.
Ref. to the context- These are the opening line of Wordsworth’s famous poem “Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey“. The poet has returned to the scene of the river Wye after a lapse of five years.
Explanations– The poet stands bewitched on the bank of this fantastically beautiful river. Once again, he says, he hears the sweet sound coming from the rolling waters of the river that springs from a mountain and flows through the plains. Once again he looks at the high steep rocks and is impressed by the solitary scene around them. The wild scene of so solitude of the steep cliffs impresses upon the mind of the poet thoughts of a deeper loneliness. Moreover, the quiet landscape below seems to become joined to the peace of the sky above by means of sky-rising mountains.
Thus the poet emphasizes the peace and the solitude of the beautiful scene around the peaks through which the river Wye runs her wild course.
The day is come…………mid groves and copses.
Ref. to the Context— This passage occurs to Wordsworth’s poem “Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey” The poet says here that he has once again visited the banks of the fair river Wye.
Explanation– Many old and familiar scenes attract his attention and he feels quite at home in this wild country. Once again he rests quiet under the dark Sycamore tree and looks about him at the quiet rural scene. He sees several plots of land around cottages. He look at clusters of trees in the orchards near the cottages. The trees in the orchards are laden with raw fruits. Because of their green leaves and fruits, they seem to be appareled in one green-colour dress. These trees are naturally lost among the thick woods and wild growing shrubs and thickets. The season which the poet mentions in the passage is early autumn, since he paid the second visit to the Wye in the middle of July.
Once again I see………….the Hermit sits alone.
Ref. to the Context- These lines have been taken from Wordsworth’s poem ‘Tintern Abbey’. The poet gives in these lines an impression of the familiar scene of the banks of the river Wye.
Explanation- The poet has come here once again after a lapse of five years. The familiar scene appears to him in a new light. The hedge-rows have grown so thick that they do not appear as part of the rural scene. Their wild growth gives the poet an impression that the wood, in a wild mood, has sprend itself to the very cottage doors. He appreciates the green countryside, with the pastoral farms which spread their green freshness to the very doors of cottages. From silent orchard trees lines of curling smoke are rising high. They look beautiful to the poet. Looking at the curling smoke rising from the trees, the poet speculates that they are coming, perhaps, from the terms of wandering gypsies who have made these wild forests their temporary dwelling-place. Or. perhaps, it is rising from the cave of some hermit who is quietly sitting by his fire. But whether the smoke is coming from Gypsy tents or from a hermit’s cave, in either case the poet is pleased to imagine that these people live in the very lap of Nature, and that they must have imbibed the spirit of peace and calm of the happy scene.
These beauteous forms…….with tranquil restoration.
Ref. to the Context- This passage has been taken from the poem “Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey” written by William Wordsworth. Here the poet explains the process by which the beneficial influence of nature works on the mind and body of man. The memory of the beautiful scenes of the river Wye has often produced in the poet sweet sensations of pleasure.
Explanation– The poet is referring here to the period of five years that has elapsed between his first and second visits to the beautiful scenery of the river Wye. These scenes have never been wholly absent from his mind during that interval. He has often been remained of them when he felt lonely or depressed while living in some town or city. The memory of these beautiful scenes has often given birth in his heart to sweet sensations whenever he felt tired following the routine of daily life. The feeling of an unspeakable joy advanced like a tide along his blood-stress and passed from the senses to the heart and then to the mind. In the process it quieted and soothed them all. It restored the peace of the poet’s mind and pacified his heart which had become restless under the pressure of the daily routine of life.
Thus the poet expresses his deep debt of gratitude to the familiar scenes to which he has come to play a second visit.
Feelings too……….of kindness and of love.
Ref. to the context- These lines have been taken from Wordsworth’s poem “Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey” In these lines the poet describes the influence upon his mind of the memory of the beautiful scenes of Wye.
Explanation– The poet explains the beneficial influence of nature’s beauty on the mind and heart of man in the light of his own experience. In the first place, the memory of these lovely scenes gave birth to a sensation of cooling and refreshing peace which soothed his senses, his heart, and his mind, which were disturbed by the busy life of the crowded cities. Secondly, they produced feelings of joy which kept the heart cheerful even though he was not able to discover the cause of this joy. Wordsworth believes that the cheerful state of human mind is very important in directing the best part of a good and virtuous man’s life. Under the impulse of this cheerful disposition the good man performs act of kindness and love almost unconsciously. These little acts of kindness and love performed spontaneously are important determiners of the virtuous life of a man.
Thus, according to Wordsworth, the best criterion of a goods and virtuous life is that good and kindly deeds come as involuntary as the beating of one’s heart or the throbbing of one’s pulse.
Nor less, I trust……………life of things.
Ref. to the Context- This passage has been taken from Wordsworth’s famous poem “Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey”. Here the poet dwells upon the mystic mood induced by the contemplation of the beautiful natural scenes stored in his mind by means of memory.
Explanation– As our mind is absorbed in the meditation of the beautiful and tranquil scenes of nature, a wave of joy spreads through our whole system. This gradually produces a state of mind akin to the mystic trance. In this state’ of mind the mystery of the universe and the problems of life and death, evil and pain, which lie upon our soul like a weight, begin to clear up. We begin to realize the true nature of the universe. When this mood is finally established, the higher faculties of our mind and soul are forced into activity, while the common functions of the body are sent to sleep. The breathing is almost suppressed and even the circulation of our blood is temporarily suspended so that physically we seem almost dead. In the meanwhile our soul begins to operate with its full energy. The inner eye becomes calm and clear and it realizes that the world is an orderly moral system, not a chaos. Under the influence of the deep joy born out of this realization, we are able to perceive the inner spirit of the universe which animates all things.
The passage illustrates Wordsworth’s mystic conception of the influence of Nature on human mind.
If this be but a vain belief……..turned to thee.
Ref. to the Context- This passage occurs in Wordsworth’s famous poem “Tintern Abbey” In this passage the poet expresses his sense of gratitude to the quiet scene of nature spread about the river Wye. Here the poet also expresses his belief that the contemplation of Nature is a source of relief to the human heart amid the feverish activity of modern life.
Explanation– The poet says that the blissful mood aroused by the contemplation of the natural scene may be a delusion on his part, because it cannot be explained except on the level of feeling. But the poet has turned to these scenes with hope and faith in the dark days of his life. They have given him a ray of hope in the darkness of life. They have given him strength in the days when life seemed lacking in all joy, in the days when even living human beings looked like so many lifeless objects. It has given him solace in the days when the useless burry and bustle of city life gave him many anxious moments, or when the painful excitement raging everywhere in the world set on his heart like a heavy load. In those moments his mind turned many times with faith and hope to the scenes of the river Wye.
And now with gleams ………..for future years.
Ref. to the Context- This passage has been taken from Wordsworth’s poem “Lines composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey.” With this passage the poet begins an analysis of his experiences of the time when he began to be fascinated by the beauty of Nature.
Explanation– The picture of his past experiences with Nature is somewhat dim and uncertain in the beginning, but it gains more and more in clarity as he proceeds. His memory begins to work in the midst of half-forgotten thoughts. Many things and objects are recalled and recognized only faintly, and in the process his mind feels somewhat puzzled and worried. But gradually his mental picture becomes more and more clear. Standing on the bank of this beautiful river he feels pleased not only in the present when he is enjoying the scene around him. He also has hope that this scene may give him many happy moments of quiet contemplation in the future years of his life. Thus the poet seems to link the present both with the past and the future. Nature is looked upon as a source of joy and peace for all time.
And so I dare to hope……. . . ..what then I was.
Ref. to the Context- These lines have been taken from the poem “Tintern Abbey” composed by Wordsworth. In these lines the poet describes his feelings and his attitudes towards Nature when he had gone to the mountainous scenes of the river Wye five years ago. That was his first visit paid to that wild countryside. He feels that the memory of that first experience has had some good influence on his present life, and the present moment will be likewise, linked with his future years.
Explanation– The poet says that he has changed considerably in his mind and thoughts from those days of the past when he had come to these hills five years ago. He was quite a young man then, and Nature seemed to attract him with her charms. He roamed about and jumped and frisked like a wild deer among the hills and forests and along the brooks and rivers. Nature then seemed to lead him according to her own will. But he compares his attractions towards her rather to the feelings of a man who runs away from something that he fears then he use of man who seeks something that he loves. Nature at that time was everything to the young poet, even though he had already superseded the animal pleasure of his boyish days. Yet the poet is not very certain about his feelings and attitudes to Nature during his first visit.
The sounding cataract…………..abundant recompense.
Ref. to the Context- These lines occur in the poem “Tintern Abbey” composed by William Wordsworth. In these lines the poet paints the picture of his first contact with the scenes of Nature when he himself was a young man full of boundless energy.
Explanation– Nature at that time was a thing of pure attraction for him. He was like a youthful lover of beauty. The beauty of nature haunted him and made him somewhat intoxicated. The waterfalls rushing downhill with great roar seemed to occupy his mind all the time just as as a strong passion does. He was craving to look at the various beautiful and terrible aspects of Nature. His feeling for her was at this moment governed by physical perception alone. Though or imagination had no role yet to play in his deep love of Nature. It was in the nature of a pure physical passion. That time, the poet tells us, is over now, along with all its ecastatic pleasures. His love of Nature has gone deeper than that. For the loss of that early feeling of pure, unmixed joy, other and more realistic feelings have become associated with Nature. Thus in his growth from early manhood towards maturity, he has also developed a matter attitude to Nature. This was a sufficient compensation for the loss of that early feeling of ecstasy in the contact with Nature.
English Literature- Important links
- “Tintern Abbey” by Wordsworth- Introduction and summary
- Development of English poetry since the age of Shakespeare
- Important Forms of poetry in English (Narrative, Lyrical, Sonnet etc.)
- Sonnet 29- When, in disgrace with fortune (William Shakespeare)
- SONNET 138- When my love swears (Analysis and Explanation)
- Critical review of Sonnet Writing of William Shakespeare
- “The Canonization” by John Donne- Summary & Line by line Explanation
- Critical appreciation of ‘The Canonisation’ (Poem by John Donne)
- John Donne- As a Poet, Poet of Love, a Metaphysical Poet
- “Paradise Lost” (Lines 242-272) John Milton | Summary & Analysis
- Characteristics of John Milton’s Poetry (with reference to Paradise Lost)
- “PARADISE LOST” as an Epic- By John Milton
- Critical appreciation of Paradise Lost- Theme, Styles, Cosmology etc.
- Speeches of Satan in Book I of Paradise Lost (By John Milton)
- Absalom and Achitophel (John Dryden)- Introduction & Summary
- Explanations of Absalom and Achitophel (Line by line analysis)
- Critical appreciation of “The False Achitophel” by John Dryden
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