William Wordsworth

(1770-1850 / Cumberland / England)

Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey - Poem by William Wordsworth

Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
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Comments about Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth

  • Dipankar Sadhukhan (9/25/2016 6:14:00 AM)

    Tintern Abbey records different stages in Wordsworth's appreciation of Nature.
    William Wordsworth is a romantic mystic poet per-excellence. To him mystic experience is a kind of spiritual illumination. He is endowed with the capacity to feel the presence of the divine spirit in all things and of unity in diversity, of the infinite in the finite. Walter Raleigh said, it is the mark of the mystic that he never despises sense, never uses it as a means to an end, stepping stone to be spurned when he has raised himself higher............ here or nowhere, now or never, the soul of thing is to be found. Wordsworth has a transcendental outlook on nature and human nature.
    In Tintern Abbey, the poet speaks of the sublime blessing that is received from his deep contemplation of the beauteous aspects of nature. The psychological aspects of a human being are suspended for the time being in nature. The body becomes inactive and the soul becomes active. Then only the worshipper of nature can realise the hidden truth of nature.
    Tintern Abbey, a miniature of his greater epic, The Prelude, is a spiritual autobiography of Wordsworth. Five years ago in 1793, he visited a ruined cloister, Tintern Abbey by the side of Wye. Again in 1798 he revisited the same place with Dorothy his friend, philosopher and guide. But during the second visit Wordsworth was completely changed from within and without.
    The Wye flows through Wales and England, and joins the severn flowing into Bristol channel. Tintern Abbey is situated some ten miles above the point where the Wye joins the severn. There is one of the most famous and ancient ecclesiastical ruins in England. It is situated on the right side of the river.
    Wordsworth, it is known, was deeply influenced by the spiritual impact of nature. In The Prelude in his autobiographical epic, he narrates the growth and development of himself as a romantic poet. In Tintern Abbey also he classifies and describes the three corresponding stages of his life. This division is almost similar to Shakespeare's passage on The Seven Ages of Man and Keats' The Human Season. He divides his life in nature into three major stages - boyhood, youth and maturity. In his boyhood, the poet felt coarse boyish pleasure in the direct presence of nature. At this stage he had a purely animal delight in every natural beauty. He was haunted by nature and went wherever nature led. He bounded over mountains, by the sides of the deep rivers and streams like a 'roe'. He was again armed by the sounding cataract, the tall rock, the mountain, deep and and gloomy wood, their colours and forms. Such beauties increased his 'appetite'. Indeed it is a period of 'aching joys' and 'dizzy raptures '. Nature was then all in all to him.
    Such aesthetic joy is no more and he becomes more calm and quiet. In the second stage the poet was enchanted by the loveliness of nature and he can now listen to 'the still sad music of humanity'. His reflective communion with nature has enabled him to see into the deeper mysteries of the universe. Contemplation over human sufferings has chastened and humanized his soul.
    In the last stage of maturity, Wordsworth is eager to make quest for the address of God or the omnipotent force that runs through all things. This is the stage of his spiritual realisation. The unintelligible mystery of the world has now been unveiled by nature to Wordsworth.
    The last stage of maturity is definitely a stage of mystical realisation and reflective communion. Pantheism (Pan - all, theos - believe) is the very foundation of Wordsworth philosophy of nature. It is a direct corollary from a feeling of mysticism. It means that the divine spirit, if it is God, is omnipotent and omniscient. The poet believes, according to his pantheistic creed, the nature is the visible garment of God. Such a sublime philosophical thought is well recored in a majestic poetical structure, decorated with mighty, grand and Miltonic blank verse.
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  • Uzefa Rashida M.a (2/13/2016 4:45:00 AM)


    there are much more than this that Wordsworth has given us. This form of poetry can be written by very few now. (Report) Reply

  • (1/31/2016 10:42:00 AM)


    ..........a beautifully penned, and very poetic piece of art...
    .the poet has painted nature more beautifully than a painting ★
    (Report) Reply

  • Philip Dodd (6/19/2015 6:08:00 PM)


    William Wordsworth made the Lake District his own, added to it a deeper dimension. He left his mark on Tintern Abbey, too, with his great poem, one of the finest ever written, I think. I have been to the Lake District many times and each visit was enriched by William Wordsworth and his poetry. One summer I went to Tintern Abbey in the Wye Valley, and that visit was enriched by my memory of the lines William Wordsworth was inspired to write by the ruins near the river Wye. (Report) Reply

  • E Nigma (10/17/2014 9:03:00 PM)


    5 years have passed, not past. Nice conveyance but it is quite long. Could cut it down to maybe half it's length and still carry the same impact. (Report) Reply

  • Is It Poetry (10/17/2014 10:52:00 AM)


    Line seven would read better and have more meaning if I pressed.
    Thoughts of deep seclusion disconnect...iip
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/17/2014 10:33:00 AM)


    Long winded. Lost interest immeditely (Report) Reply

  • (10/17/2014 9:19:00 AM)


    The great poem of the great poet on nature and it is a real gift to poetry and poem lovers for ever. (Report) Reply

  • Paul Reed (10/17/2014 3:06:00 AM)


    Wordsworth hits the heights in this eulogy to nature (Report) Reply

  • (10/17/2014 12:59:00 AM)


    This poem has always spokeN to - and for - me, for my heart and mind and soul, ever since I first was introduced to it when I was still in my teens. What a thrilling poem! It begins, as I suspect all true poetry must, with 'little lines of sportive wood run wild, ' and lifts us time and again until we soar with the 'presence that disturbs us with the joy of elevated thoughts.' Even as a young teacher myself, the Romantics were my favorite poets to teach, but I used in insist in the faculty lounge that Keats was the best, or Blake. Wordsworth, I thought, trailed in their dust. A colleague, several years my superior, chuckled and told me then that these were the words of a young man. As I grew older I would grow into Wordsworth and recognize his grandeur. Of course, he was correct. I still love Keats and Blake, with more than words can say, but of course Wordsworth is on Mt. Pisgah with them, perhaps a bit more profound and satisfying albeit less dramatic. And this poem, with certain passages from The Prelude are the essence of Wordsworth, his 'sense sublime.' THANK YOU for letting me share this experience again, and to see the comments of others. THANK YOU. (Report) Reply

  • (10/18/2013 12:29:00 AM)


    Lots of mixed emotion: beauty, joy, loss, grief
    An essence lingers on
    (Report) Reply

  • Manohar Bhatia (10/17/2013 7:35:00 AM)


    The style, language, poetic thoughts are all missing in today's poets. Why is it so? Is it because King Time has changed the hands of a clock to go anti clock-wise? Or is it Nature has filled its belly full of pollutin? Or poet man has lost his sensitivity of love, emotion and niceness to this beastly technology?
    If you read the poem of William Wordsworth above, you will know, why there are dearth of modern poets comparable to this past great poet of Nature.
    Manohar Bhatia.
    (Report) Reply

  • Kevin Straw (10/17/2012 1:10:00 PM)


    Wordsworth in rhapsodic vein. It is counter-productive to analyse mood music like this. To attempt to produce an abstract philosophy from this poem is to do it an injustice - the message is less for the brain than for the ears and the heart. Wordsworth in this poem, I feel, proves himself the greatest of the Romantic poets - the Aeolian harp from which the breeze evoked the most enchanting music. (Report) Reply

  • Babatunde Aremu (10/17/2012 6:33:00 AM)


    As we mature in life we are able to have deeper revelations. Wordsworth romantical applies nature to drive this point home in this evergreen poem (Report) Reply

  • (10/17/2012 4:16:00 AM)


    i read this few years ago, yes same date (Report) Reply

  • Michael Hogan (4/27/2012 4:43:00 PM)


    I have always found this to be a spritual touchstone as well as a wonderfully-crafted poem. I have shared it with a number of friends and students over the years. The fact that...greetings where no kindness is/Nor all the dreary incourse of daily life/Shall e're prevail against us is a powerful promise that the poet makes for those that stay close to the source, whether of nature itself, or the power which flows through all things. Like Ian Fraser I also feel that one of the gifts of this poem is that it does not stick to a single subject but moves through a series of images and phlosphical suggestions. The poem has both moment and movement which bring the reader in to a point of deep serousness and contemplation and then move on to another series of images and thoughts. (Report) Reply

  • (10/17/2011 4:37:00 PM)


    This is an example of a form of poetry now sadly long dead, the verse epistle. Wordsworth does not introduce it as such, but the dedication at the close to his sister Dorothy, I think clearly shows it is intended to be read as such. The form lost popularity during the 19th century as it places considerable demands on the reader both in terms of the time it takes to read and intellectually, as it does not stick to a single subject as we today think a poem should but in fact covers a whole range of interconnected subjects, the power of nature to inspire us, youth and adulthood, love and friendship etc etc.

    When I think of the average email sent today and then of this I realize what a huge amount we have lost in civilization over the past 200 years. It is hard to imagine anyone today at whatever level of education even beginning to approach the simple nobility of Wordsworth's style. The poem is full of memorable phrases, 'the heavy and the weary weight of this unintelligible world', ' gleams of half-extinguished thought', ' a spirit that impels all thinking things, all objects of all thought and rolls through all things'. One could go on, but it is much more than simply soundbytes. It is glimpse back into a world in it was possible to see all that is as part of a greater whole and human experience still as an integral part of of what we now call Nature.
    (Report) Reply

  • (12/4/2009 10:41:00 AM)


    It is a pleasure to see my views presented by someothers. I shall add a little more to what Mr. Ramesh wrote. From spiritual pleasure Wordsworth goes to the sublime sensing of the existential ecstasy, being in ' yoganidra' (a stage when one has no sensation of himself - physical, intellectual, emotional, and even spiritual, and one's consciousness becomes perfectly awake, untouched by any type of feeling of existence) . This high growth of soul is attainable only if led by a genuine master. Who can be a better spiritual master than the absolute manifestation of the Infinite, Nature? (Report) Reply

  • (10/17/2009 10:22:00 PM)


    This is the perfect understanding of various pleasures, in the form of a meditation.
    Excellent poem, and I agree totally with Mr. Armstrong and Ramesh T A.
    Mr. Woodhouse, you clearly do not understand that it does not matter so much that the poet is back - he discusses more importantly about his life and future.
    (Report) Reply

  • (10/17/2009 1:33:00 PM)


    To Mr. Woodhouse: Sir, if you honestly think that 'What a pleasant view - it's good to be back, ' captures the essence of this poem, I am wondering what in tarnation you are doing on a poetry website in the first place. Apparently you have been infected so hopelessly by twitter-itis and the use of soundbytes to communicate that you are incapable of entering into a meditative and communal state that a good poem requires. This poem is 'rambling, ' as you say, only if your main interest in reading it is to get from the beginning to the end in as short a time as possible. I think that Ramesh T A summarizes this poem wonderfully. (Report) Reply



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