Monday, 26 October 2009

Revisiting Wordsworth

Yes, there is holy pleasure in thine eye!
- The lovely cottage in the guardian nook
Hath stirred thee deeply; with its own dear brook,
Its own small pasture, almost its own sky!

But covet not the abode -O do not sigh
As many do, repining while they look;
Intruders who would tear from Nature's book
This precious leaf with harsh impiety:

(Admonition To A Traveller by William Wordsworth)













The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

(The World Is Too Much With Us by William Wordsworth)

Wordsworth viewed man as a part of nature and not in opposition to it. He reflected at length on how this relationship could be comprehended: Man appears insignificant in the presence of nature. The towering mountains, lakes and forests appear motionless but they are also alive and vivid, when the clouds move, the lake ripples, the branches sway but still nature is always aloof and incomprehensible. Or is it that it is man who through awe and wonder makes nature come alive?

Wordsworth opposed the construction of a trainline from Kendal to Grasmere (the train till today doesn't come to Grasmere). He wanted the Lake District to become some sort of a National Park, which it eventually did.

For as a man who wrote most of his poetry, in the time of the Industrial Revolution, walking along the lakes in the company of nature he very well understood how man's culture of "getting and spending" would disconnect him from nature, making him lose his sense of wonder and eventually lead to dire consequences. In that sense he was a visionary.

4 comments:

jb said...
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Jugular Bean said...

http://books.google.co.in/books?id=lkj0ok-BEJsC&pg=PA7&lpg=PA7&dq=tagore+individual+in+relation+to+the+universe&source=bl&ots=Jg3Q6EvqGE&sig=HXA01kJRMw7387iLdd2ytsaBmrw&hl=en&ei=l7vlSpaZO9mZkQWqv_ydAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=3&ved=0CBEQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Anvita Lakhera said...

Yes, Tagore did understand the human- nature relationship. We can see it in his poetry and his art.
Lake District in England is preserved mostly due to the efforts of writers and poets like Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter.

Anvita Lakhera said...

Thanks for the link. It is interesting how our perception of our place in nature and our relationship with it sheds light on not only how we will lead our lives but also what we will value most.