Tintern Abbey


Analysis of "Tintern Abbey"
Whereas most individuals tend to see nature as a playhouse that should alter and self-destruct to their every need, William Wordsworth had a very different view. Wordsworth perceived nature as a sanctuary where his views of life, love, and his creator were eventually altered forever. The intensity of Wordsworth?s passion for nature elevated him from a boy into the inspiring man and poet in which he is recognized to be today. One of the most compelling works Wordsworth ever devised was that of " Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey." The poem enlightens the reader on the awesome power and depth of nature, which Wordsworth has discovered in his trials and tribulations upon the earth. Thus, to full understand the significance of nature in all lives told through " Lines Composed A few Miles Above Tintern Abbey" one must understand the setting and mood, as well as comprehend the rhyme scheme, and use of many diverse poetic devices that interact within the poem the poem.
One is able to gain insight into "Lines Composed a Few Lines Above Tintern Abbey" by first trying to understand the mood and setting of the poem. Although it "is a miniature of the long poem Wordsworth never quite wrote" (Robyn Young p.409) it lacked nothing as far as depth and intensity goes. Wordsworth was very skilled in such areas, although his writing may be come very complex it is said that it was a result of "the spontaneous overflow of emotion" (Gale Net). Wordsworth wrote this poem, as cited by Wordsworth without " any part of it was written down till I reached Bristol" (F.W. Bateson p.191). Wordsworth was a firm believer that man should "find an immanent force that unites them with their physical and spiritual environments" (Jan Shoemaker p.1). As Wordsworth revisits this beloved place of his (Tintern Abbey) he is reminded of how he once perceived this sanctuary. Wordsworth attempts to compare and contrast two worlds, Brian Barbour states "Wordsworth?s basic strategy is to appeal to the spiritual while remaining entirely within the natural order"(Barbour p.154). When he was a young child he came to this valley using it as his own personal playground. He never gave nature the respect and praise that it so deserved. He just saw nature through a young child?s eyes; he saw a tree in which to climb, grass in which was simply to frolic in. The cliffs, springs, and the sky were merely there for his pleasure; never did Wordsworth begin to see nature for what it really was. Wordsworth grew and changed dramatically maturing spiritually, mentally and physically. In his maturing he began to see more of what nature really had to offer him. During his last visit before he would leave for five long years, Wordsworth realized nature?s true beauty and respected and praised it. He had finally realized that one could only find God in his purest form in his own most perfect creation "Nature". Harold Bloom states "The visible body of Nature is more then a outer testimony of the Spirit of God to him; it is our only way to God" (Modern p.4). He had learned that nature was the true sanctuary for God, not some man made church, the lord didn?t intend us to worship him in a man made structure, which defaced his creations where he dwelled. Wordsworth realized that his fellow man has strayed from God by getting caught up in all the material things in which our society provides us and this deeply saddened him. Brian Barbour informs us that " the human mind was building a world in which the human spirit could not live" (Brian Barbour p.154). Wordsworth now realized that this place has in so many ways kept him in touch with his creator and with his inner self. Once that Wordsworth returns from this journey he comes to his place of sanctuary to find that he once again sees it in a whole different perspective. When he is upon his valley he is over whelmed with gratitude. He is in a sense in awe and as Stephen Gill states he is " utterly intoxicated with nature" (Stephen Gill P. 10). He realizes that what was once thought his playground is actually the playground of God. He feels ashamed that he could at one time