The tables turned by William Wordsworth

Let Nature Be Your Teacher

"The tables turned" is a poem written by the Romantic poet William Wordsworth in 1798 and published in his Lyrical Ballads. The poet has used a mood of peace and serenity through the poem, where he is inviting his friend to admire the nature around him. Wordsworth discourages learning from books and says that books cannot teach a person everything that he needs to learn. He encourages his friend to understand the beauty and depth that is present in nature. This poem will be analyzed critically according to the themes, tone, form and figures of speech.

The major theme involved in "tables turned" is the beneficial influence of nature. The speaker convinces his friend to get rid of using books which he considers them as a prison that no one can get benefit from it "Up! Up! My friend, and quit your books" "Books! It is a dull and endless strife". In other words, Wordsworth strongly expresses this point of view when he says "we murder to dissect" indicating that the more we try to analyze science and art, the more we lose from the joys of life. In addition, the theme of the poem appears obviously in the fourth stanza "let nature be your teacher". Wordsworth finds himself alive in the natural world, immersed in life as it happens, relaxed into the music and beauty of it "come, hear the woodland linnet" "how sweet his music on my life".

The overall tone of the speaker is straight forward, passionate and optimistic. The tone begins playful as he calls "Up! Up! " to his friend to get his attention, and the tone is light and joyful as the poet describes the beauty of nature and how it has a great effect on humans "the sun above the mountain's head, A freshening lustre mellow" "She has a world of ready wealth, Our minds and hearts to bless". The tone continues to be light in the first five stanzas, but then it shifts to a more forceful tone in the seventh stanza when he says "We murder to dissect". Finally, in the last stanza, the tone is hopeful again when the speaker asks his friend to follow nature with his heart "Come forth, and bring with you a heart" and trust nature to be the ultimate teacher.

Figures of speech:
"The tables turned" is rich with figures of speech and sounds. Wordsworth paints a strong picture for the reader, describing nature's beauty and significance. He speaks of "The sun above the mountain's head" and "long green fields" to paint a picture of imaginative understanding. There is onomatopoeia in "the throstle sings" and "spontaneous wisdom breathed by health", as though you can hear someone breathing in nature fresh air "Truth breathed by cheerfulness". And there is a personification where he gives nature the quality of a hu man being in the forth stanza "Let nature be your teacher".

"The tables turned" is a lyric poem which expresses emotions. It consists of eight ballads stanzas and a total of 32 lines. It is a quatrain and couplet rhyming every other line "books, looks" "double, trouble", this creates musical effects in the poem. Each stanza follows equally except for the seventh stanza which is irregular in rhythm. Thus, the rhyme scheme is ABAB CDCD EFEF … the first and third lines of each quatrain are written in iambic tetrameter while the second and fourth lines are trimester lines.

As a conclusion, I see that Wordsworth's way of thinking is right, wise and mature. We have to go out and enjoy nature and stop reading books since we can gain more knowledge, wisdom and wealth only through nature.