"The poetry of William Wordsworth has enduring appeal. Discuss."
Now, I'm usually able to come up with an ok Poetry essay when given a few days but after reading through loads of his poems, all the notes on him in the poetry book, my teacher's notes and my grinds teacher's notes, I still have no flipping idea what aspects of Wordsworth's poetry have any kind of appeal.
So, yeah. If anyone has done a similar essay and can share, or can give me a rough plan on what I should be saying to answer this question, I'd be much obliged. I have several A1/A2 essays on Hamlet, Boland, Frost and Dickinson I can PM if you don't feel on being entirely selfless.
Answered this last week. Basically said that his poetry covers themes like nature, love, death, and spirituality in nature and the world around us that we can all relate to in some way. I used "It Is a Beauteous Evening...", "To My Sister" "Skating" and "She Dwelt Among The Untrodden Ways".
Q. “There are many reasons why William Wordsworth still appeals to a modern audience”.
In response to the above statement, write an essay on the poetry of Wordsworth. In your essay, refer to aspects (theme and style) that contribute to this appeal.
Although the poetry of William Wordsworth was written in the early 1800s, it still has much appeal for a modern audience. Wordsworth’s references to nature found in most, if not all, of his work is what gives his poetry a timeless quality. The poems ‘Lines Composed Upon Westminster Bridge’, ‘The Stolen Boat’, ‘To My Sister’ and ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’, all demonstrate various styles, from sonnet to blank verse format. The poems deal with themes with which we are all familiar. This fact means that the work of Wordsworth has a permanent relevance, and is appealing to a modern audience.
The poem ‘To My Sister’ acts as a reminder of the intrinsic beauty of nature. As the title suggests, the poem is addressing Wordsworth’s sister. In it, he invites her to come outside with him to embrace nature’s beauty. He claims that nature is better than literature and tells his sister “bring no book: for this one day / We’ll give to idleness”. Wordsworth also sees God’s presence in nature. He believes in a divine driving-force and says “There is a blessing in the air”.
Presented in verses of four lines each, the poem engages the reader and is written in a conversational tone. Wordsworth uses effective imagery of nature and reminds us of its ubiquitous presence; “The redbreast sings from the tall larch / That stands beside our door”. The use of strong verbs give the poem a energy. Wordsworth addresses his sister and tells her to “Make haste, your morning task resign; / Come forth and feel the sun”.
Dealing with the timeless theme of oneness with nature, “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” is an appealing poem. The second of the ‘Lucy’ poems, this elegy deals with nature and our symbiotic relationship with it. Wordsworth speaks of a vision he had of Lucy after her death. Now one with nature, she cannot “feel / The touch of earthly years”.
The poem is composed of two verses of four lines, and has an effective use of alliteration in its opening line - also its title. The ‘s’ sound in “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” conveys the idea of sleep. Wordsworth uses interesting imagery to communicate Lucy’s final resting place. He does not make her death sound tragic and immortalises her in the poem’s closing line: “Rolled round in earth‘s diurnal clock / With rocks, and stones, and trees”.
‘Lines Composed Upon Westminster Bridge’ is another poem with appeal for a modern audience. In it, Wordsworth describes the beauty of London city as he approaches it while travelling to France. He sees beauty in the city and in the fields which surround it. Wordsworth speaks of the city “like a garment, wear / The beauty of the morning; silent, bare”. He reminds us that the beauty of nature surrounds urban areas like London, and all are “bright and glittering in the smokeless air”.
The octet serves to vividly describe the cityscape of London. Wordsworth describes the city and its surrounding area as a “sight so touching in its majesty”. The city is personified and described as being asleep in the early morning, its “mighty heart is lying still”. The poem engages the reader and opens with the assertion that “EARTH has not anything to show more fair”. This assertion catches our attention and gives us a sense of expectancy.
The poem “The Stolen Boat” prompts us to reflect on our experience as children through the use of an anecdote. The anecdote speaks of the experience, shared by us, of acting without thinking and suffering the consequences. Wordsworth relates a childhood experience in which he took a boat without asking in order to go rowing on a lake. There is the theme of natural beauty in the poem, but also that of nature’s role as a mentor. The boy learns quickly through the rising of guilt he experiences. This poem appeals to a modern audience because it tells of and experience we have all had; “a troubled pleasure”.
The anecdote is related in a blank verse format and is delivered through simple, conversational language. The tone is one of contemplation. Wordsworth reflects on the joyful experience and subsequent guilt of taking the boat. The imagery of this boat is effective, and in it Wordsworth “went heaving through the water like a swan”. The feeling of guilt is conveyed as “a huge peak, black and huge”.
Through his varied style of verse and conversational language, Wordsworth communicates the enduring theme of nature. The poems ‘Lines Composed Upon Westminster Bridge’, ‘The Stolen Boat’, ‘To My Sister’ and ‘A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal’, prompt the exploration of our inherent fascination with nature. The fascination is mutual among all people, and it is this fact that contributes to the poems’ lasting appeal.
Answer I did
I got an A in the Wordsworth essay I did, but it's in school and I'm afraid Wordsworth is just so boring that I really can't remember any of it. I'll bring it home tomorrow and give you an outline if you want.
Basically just go on about his undying love for nature and its power and you should be fine. For the enduring appeal part, make sure you mention that his poetry is written mostly in simple, everyday language, and therefore can appeal to a wider audience. Also that he creates vivid imagery, appeals to our senses etc, such as in "Skating".
Damn right you did. Thanks everyone
I think if it asks about Wordsworth it will be along the lines of him being a romantic poet and how is it relevant to modern society