Tintern Abbey By Wordsworth

Introduction

The poem is considered to be Wordsworth’s noblest utterance. It was
written soon before the departure of Wordsworth and his sister for Germany.

Summary of the Poem

The poet returns to gaze upon the river Wye after an absence of five years. He has often thought of that quiet and beautiful scene during this long absence.

To the unconscious influence of those beauteous forms, he owes the highest of his poetic moods—that mood in which the soul rises above the world of sense, and views the world of being, and the mysterious harmony of the universe. It’s is the poet’s own belief; but even if this were a vain belief, he knows at least that the memory of this peaceful scene has often cheered him in hours of solitude and hopelessness.

And now he once more looks upon the real scene of his past recollections. He contrasts his present feelings with the past ones. He has a painful belief that the past with its intense and childish raptures can no more return to him. But he does not, therefore, faint or murmur, because he knows that other gifts have followed. If the mere external forms of nature cannot fill him with the rapture of his boyish days, he has reached a higher and more serene region; he has learnt to understand the inner meaning of nature; he has learnt to recognize a living principle underlying the world of sense, and giving to it all beauty and harmony.

And even if it were not so, the sympathy of his dear sister would keep his genial spirits from drooping or decaying. In her he views his former self; in her voice, he catches the language of his former heart, and in the glances of her wild eyes he reads his former pleasures. He prays that she should be what he was once—viz., a fervent worshipper of nature, and a devout believer in the maxim

“all that we behold is full of blessing.” And so whatever sorrows might be her lot in aftertimes, she would remember with joy the poet and his exhortations and derive consolation from the remembrances.

SOME IMPORTANT EXPLANATIONS

Lines:

These beauteous Forms,
————————————
With tranquil restoration

Explanation: These lines have been taken from William Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey. During this interval of five years, the poet never forgot the impression made upon his mind by these beautiful objects of nature. Their memory was very vivid and nothing could wipe out their impression. Neither peaceful life in seclusion nor the time spent in noisy towns to the recollection of the scene the poet owes a great deal during moments of moral and mental crisis. It refreshed not only his physical senses and feelings, but his intellectual powers were also made alert. The experience often thrilled him completely and helped him to overcome the depressing moods, and regain the calmness of the mind.

Lines:

Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
————————————
We see into the life of things.

Explanation: These lines have been taken from William Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey. The poet says that in that mood, guided by the higher emotions, the vital functions and physical nature are for the time suppressed, we lose the sense of physical existence and the body becomes totally calm. Then we become all spirit, and with our mental vision, we see harmony all round without the least trace of any chaos or confusion in the world. This mystical experience and the bliss that accompanies it gives such a spiritual exaltation that we understand the real significance of things and then doubts no more depress us. We feel spiritually very enlightened.

Tintern Abbey By Wordsworth Summary and Explanations

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