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They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude. I940-9. Beside the lake. is the way in which the poem not only illustrates the theory of poetry that Wordsworth formulates in the prefaces to Lyrical Ballads (I802) and Poems (1815) but actually incarnates the central imaginative truth in that theory.Orchestra and the Golden Flower: A Critical Interpretation of the Two Versions of Wordsworth's'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud' I wandered lonely as a Cloud That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills. is made flesh in so convincing and striking a manner that. as a method of poetic practice. They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance. The word. that is. And dances with the Daffodils. Ten thousand dancing in the breeze. edited by Helen Darbishire edited by Ernestde Selincourt Helen Darbishire. discreetly and subtly. A host. De Selincourt reprints the text of 1849-50 which is. And dances with the daffodils. and Works. Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. the perceptive reader can see in its living tissue the shape and process of the very mind that bodied it forth. second edition. The waves beside them danced. but they Out-did the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay. And then my heart with pleasure fills. . identical with that of 8I15.I952). Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. as the poem unfolds. beneath the trees. apart from its sheer triumph as a work of the highest imagination (a point to be considered and substantiated later). pp. Poems (I815)' but little thought What is most remarkable about Wordsworth's short lyric. beneath the trees. Volumes II and in. In such a jocund company: I gazed and gazed - What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft. II. Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way. of golden daffodils. They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude. but they Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: A Poet could not but be gay In such a laughing company: What wealth the shew to me had brought: For oft when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood. (Oxford. 216-I7. The following article will contend that consideration of this special relationship between Wordsworth's theory and practice in 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud' 1 I have followedthe texts reprintedin Poems Two Volumes in I807. The waves beside them danced. I952-4). in respect of substantives. When all at once I saw a crowd A host of dancing Daffodils. successfully vindicating it. when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood. and Poetical 5 vols (Oxford. Poemsin Two Volumes (1807) I gaz'd and gaz'd but little thought I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o'er vales and hills. 223-4. When all at once I saw a crowd. 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'. And then my heart with pleasure fills. Along the Lake.
I50 'I Wordsworth's Wandered Lonelyas a Cloud' may lead on to a fuller and richer appreciation of the imaginative scope of the poem than has so far been presented. Jung. which are indeed the representativesof all our past feelings. or at least that rational element which. pp. In this mood successfulcomposition generally begins. Wordsworth writes in the preface of I802: I have said that Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity: the emotion is contemplated till by a species of reaction the tranquillity gradually disappears. . I first wish to concentrate on certain principal ideas of Wordsworth's which are. neglecting to consider the light which the poetry may throw upon the theory. tranquillity. and an emotion. translated by H. and I must make plain what I believe should be understood by these functions. in this If opinion I am mistaken. and that the emotion during the original experience and its recollection is said to be contemplated. as that my descriptionsof such objects as strongly excite those feelings. Poems to which any value can be attached. Wordsworth's formulae may seem stale enough by this time. What I think is important to notice. 546. 1946). kindred to that which was before the subject of contemplation. distinguishes feeling as a directed function from affector uncontrolled emotion.1 and thought and reason require some measure of calmness or tranquillity for their efficient functioning. but though this be true. G. Godwin Baynes (London. as some of our modern psychologists tell us. though the feelings are said to be both 'spontaneous' and 'powerful'. These ideas are concerned with the respective functions of feeling. About feeling and tranquillity. to illuminate Wordsworth's poetry through his theory. particularly important in relation to 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud'. therefore. furthermore. And so thought enters the complex process as a qualifying factor. we have always regarded Wordsworth's theory of poetry as a thing apart and overshadowed. the recollected emotion is described as 'kindred to' and not identical with the original.. For our continued influxes of feeling are modified and directed by our thoughts. had also thought long and deeply.. I can have little right to the name of a Poet. perhaps a sign that we have never witnessed their wonder-working efficacy as a vital experience and so never really believed in them. and that more concrete approach will not be neglected here. yet a state of calmness intervenes between the original emotion and its recollection as an 'actual' emotion. by Coleridge's more intelligent remarks. is gradually produced. here. and imagination in poetic composition. PsychologicalTypes. 544. and indeed Wordsworth goes on later to specifiy certain ways in which the recollected emotion is qualified. who being possessed of more than usual organic sensibility. will be found to carry along with them a purpose. thought. Wordsworth also refers us to an earlier passage in the preface of I802 which does in fact provide an illuminating gloss on the process he is describing and helps us to understand what he means by 'contemplated' and perhaps helps to explain why the period or state of tranquillity is necessary: . for example C. is that. I believe. We may have striven. habits of meditation have so formed my feelings. So Wordsworth records the paradox of poetic art in which the contradictory 1 See. Possibly. and in a mood similar to this it is carried on. were never produced on any variety of subjects but by a man. in a rather abstract way. and does itself actually exist in the mind. For all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. Nevertheless. in any case.
. are integrated into a purposeful and meaningful whole. BritishJournal of Psychology. and on its relation to what is eternal: 'It [the poetic or secondary imagination] dissolves.1 Wordsworth's view of the function of imagination. 99-oo00. must surely conclude that the two sections of the poem hinge on the co-ordinating conjunction. is not too 1 Readers familiar with Bullough's theory of 'aesthetic distancing' will not be slow to note its effect here. Coleridge claimed he differed in some measure from Wordsworth. but is a word of higher import. Many readers almost intuitively divide the poem at line 17. in line 17. Imagination to incite and to support the eternal. reprinted in Bullough's Aesthetics(London. I957). even elation at times. Even a cursory glance at the structure of the later version of this poem reveals that it falls into two main sections. however. whatever the emotions which are being aroused in and by it.. in the 1815 collection. and the order brought by poetic form ('the music of harmonious metrical language'. dissolve. and dissolving and separating unity into number. Although. The poem had first appeared in Poems in Two Volumes (I807) without a title and under the heading. is accompanied by a strong 'feeling tone' of pleasure erupting steadily into a powerful emotional state for which joy. a stanza was added and certain other changes made. in the sense of the word as giving title to a class of the following Poems. meditation. Coleridge insists on the power of the imagination to create.. 'Moods of My Own Mind'. And what are being juxtaposed are an intense though comparatively unreflective perception ('I gazed . yet still at all events it struggles to idealize and to unify' and is 'an echo of' the primary imagination.2 Wordsworth classified 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud' under the heading. existing in the mind. Wordsworth mentions) into its aesthetic equivalent. 'Poems of the Imagination'. The 'raw' emotion.') and the possibility of meditative reflection on that perception ('but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought') which is indeed realized in the stanza which follows. 11 .. . Fancy is given to quicken and to beguile the temporal part of our nature. and governed by. Thus far of an endowing or modifying power: but the Imagination also shapes and creates. It will later be contended that all these changes were in accord with Wordsworth's concept of imagination and strengthened the poem as a work of imagination in that sense. and in none does it more delight than in that of consolidating numbers into unity. governed by certain fixed laws . dissipates. denoting operations of the mind upon those objects.and gazed .and how? By innumerable processes.HARVEY PETER SUCKSMITH I5I functions of thought and emotion. of the original experience is transmuted through recall. In I815.Chapter 13). and he later draws attention in the preface of I802 to a kind of 'feeling tone' of delight or joy which permeates the experience of poetry.alternations proceeding from. has no reference to images that are merely a faithful copy. diffuses. The more discerning reader. (1912). see Edward Bullough. 'a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM' (Biographia Literaria. a sublime consciousness of the soul in her own mighty and almost divine powers . forming part of the skilful joint. Some uncertainty as to where the division actually occurs in that line indicates the skilful way in which the two sections are dovetailed together. Wordsworth's description of his initial perception or experience of the daffodils. as he describes it in the preface of I815. '"Psychical Distance" as a Factor in Art and an Aesthetic Principle'. the ellipsis whereby 'I' is omitted before 'little thought'. seems to have some similarity to Coleridge's: Imagination. 2 Like Wordsworth. in order to re-create: or where this process is rendered impossible. of absent external objects. so to speak. which occupies the whole of the first section. 'but'. and processes of creation or of composition. of spontaneous overflow and direction. and unify. at the end of the previous chapter. 5 especially pp.
a communion. the whole of the second stanza was added in I8I5. We cannot of course be sure that the poem records the initial experience as it actuallywas. such an explanation seems inadequate because it is imprecise. as a critical statement of what is occurring in the poem. we must surely be struck by its remarkable resemblance to the process and even the stages of poetic composition as described by Wordsworth in his preface of I802. for example. to account for its extraordinary power that we encounter a difficulty. Wordsworth's delight in natural movement within the spectacle naturally centres on the daffodils . Nevertheless. 'Tintern Abbey'. in the image. and through the unifying power of the imagination which is as much at work in the earlier section of the poem as in the later section. so abstract and vague as to amount almost to a cliche of feeling. For. We can see that Wordsworth experiences an identity. with natural objects. And yet. it may not be without some significance that the earlier version of the poem was composed only two years later. even identity. in the first instance. for 'golden' was substituted for 'dancing' only in 1815 and. is already anticipated. ultimate value of the experience subtly and accurately presented as an unrecognized germ concealed in the initial perceptions. we undoubtedly experience some of the intense joy which Wordsworth is obviously seeking to express but it is when we try to define the quality of that joy. the naivety. used in the very first line. the communion. even the first section of the poem is recollection in tranquillity. this emotional state is attributed both to the daffodils and to the poet and ultimately indicated in the third stanza by 'glee'. and 'jocund'. perhaps. as in the preface. 'lonely as a cloud'. an interval of tranquillity which may be accompanied by thoughtfulness ('In vacant or in pensive mood') and the recollection of the subject and the emotion as an act of reflection or meditation. On first reading the poem. that is an act in which both thought and emotion are involved and in which thought modifies the initial experience.152 'I Wordsworth's Wandered Lonelyas a Cloud' extreme a word. In both versions of the poem. still intuitive. in I804. In this sense. if 'dancing' was withdrawn. the general progression in the poem is from simile to metaphor. It is interesting to note in this connexion that 'jocund' was substituted in 1815 for the anti-climactic 'laughing' of I807 and that the climactic series is continued in the second section with the word 'bliss' in line 22. with nature in the poem and we can acknowledge that experience in some wise. in general. we find an insistence on an original experience or subject with its accompanying emotion. which occur in an almost climactic sequence. should warn us that we are in the presence not merely of the symbolic but of that experience which has been variously called or noumenal archetypal. and significantly. a certain transmutation has most probably taken place through the verbalization of the experience. What does attract Wordsworth's eye.and possibly to what we have ourselves in some measure experienced at some time. relating it to other poems by Wordsworth. the unreflecting character of the initial perceptions are recaptured in the first section and the as-yet unconscious. When we consider the subject matter of the two sections of the poem together. not so much colour. and yet we recognize intuitively that it is not. is movement. 'gay'. at first sight. the emotion excited by the poem appears logically to be in excess of the subject. which is gradually realized throughout the poem and finds its ultimate expression in 'my heart with pleasure fills | And dances with the daffodils' in the final two lines. As we shall see. This apparent contradiction. Indeed. paradoxically enough. or parts of The Prelude. through its presentation in a poetic form. paradox even.
.and Seas with all their finny drove Now to the Moon in waveringMorricemove. it is the movement of the dance. for this is the most rudimentary and fundamental expression of life itself. Who in their nightlywatchfullSphears. the poet at the beginning of the poem is in motion ('wandered lonely as a cloud I That floats on high o'er vales and hills') and although he is physically at rest at the end of the poem. it seems to dance. if you mark it well. 1 We knowonly that he read widely in the Englishpoets at Cambridge.or A Poem of Dancing (I596). The Sounds. When the young sun in bravery her doth woo. And on the Tawny Sandsand Shelves. we will almost certainly include in any answer the fact that it can be a cultural activity and an art form and the idea that the dance combines spontaneous with ordered movement. We do not know whether Wordsworth had read Orchestraor not. waves') but it also takes in the movement of the waves. But. I I I-18: We that are of purerfire Imitate the StarryQuire.capitalization. pp. his 'heart' is now active 'And dances with the daffodils'. 'twinkle'). on no one thing can glance. Music and measure both doth understand. Nothing attracts our eye so immediately and compellingly as movement and with nothing do we sympathize so readily as with natural vitality. Lead in swiftround the Monthsand Years.TheOxford of Sixteenth-century (Oxford. Wordsworth's ignorance of Davies's poem might strengthen the view that both poets found the meaning of the dance in a profound experience common to mankind. Trip the pert Fairiesand the dapperElves. Davies2 points out the universal application of his symbol: For your quick eyes in wandering to and fro. Chambers modernized . Indeed. And like a girdle clips her solid waist. 'tossing their heads in sprightly dance'. If we ask ourselves what is the meaning of the dance. thoughhe may have got lines of something the idea of a cosmicdancefromthe Miltonhe so muchadmired. Davies's interpretation of the meaning of the dance.seeComus. moreover. has spelling. In a semimystical poem.HARVEY PETER SUCKSMITH I53 ('Fluttering and dancing in the breeze'. Another poet who uses the dance as a symbol is Sir John Davies.. that have sweet beauty too. vitality with design. As oft as they the whistling wind do hear. (Stanza 34) Flowers join in the universal dance: See how those flowers.1 and this hardly matters. helps to confirm and amplify Wordsworth's interpretation. and punctuation. The only jewels that the earth doth wear. despite the two centuries that separate him from Wordsworth. From east to west. Thus. 1945). and that it expresses that same paradoxical association of spontaneity and direction which Wordsworth has identified as interacting together within the poetic process. 739-72. which 'danced' too. (Stanza 55) So do waves: For lo! the sea that fleets about the land. and the movement of light ('sparkling waves'. Orchestra. Chambers. Do wave their tender bodies here and there. Yet the movement in Wordsworth's poem is very largely a specific kind of movement. K. 2 I have Book Verse quotedfromthe text of E. 'outdid the.
but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity. (Stanza 19) Poetry is a highly disciplined form of dancing: And heavenly poetry do forward lead. as we went along there were more and yet more. air. ever glancing. Which when they have with many kisses wet. I neversaw daffodilsso beautiful. So danceth he about the centre here. And as she danceth in her pallid sphere. Tillyard.' It is also true that what was a matter of the 'Correspondences'2 the woods beyond GowbarrowParkwe saw a few daffodilsclose to the waterside. with rule and order strange. and a few stragglers higher up. 1943). and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind. under the boughsof the trees. pp. and on her fixed fast.They grew among the mossystonesabout and above them. 1 The relevant passage in Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal (15 April I802) is: 'When we were in . The ElizabethanWorldPicture(London. and life of that one busy highway. One after other. W. To leave their first discorded combating. As all the world their motion should preserve. There was here and there a little knot. M. though it is true that the waves which Wordsworth saw at Ullswater were caused by the wind on the lake and not by the moon as in Davies's poem. and water. And in a dance such measure to observe. earth. As that their movings do a music frame. did agree By Love's persuasion.we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore.154 'I Wordsworth's Wandered Lonelyas a Cloud' For his great crystal eye is always cast Up to the moon. flow unto the shore.. The fire. As all is marred if she one foot misplace.. (Stanzas 92-3) And Davies is clear that the cosmic dance he describes expresses a harmonious arrangement of otherwise conflicting natural forces. unity. (Stanzas 49-50) And so also do the heavenly bodies: The turning vault of heaven formed was.. and at last. So curiously doth move each single pace. But poetry. nature's mighty king.about the breadthof a countryturnpikeroad. And divers measures diversely do tread. some restedtheir heads upon these stones. they looked so gay. ever changing.. Sometimes his proud green waves in order set. They ebb away in order.as on a pillow. When the first seeds whereof the world did spring. then began to be. The wind blew directly over the lake to them. a bringing of order out of chaos.' 2 See E. (Stanza 17) Like Davies. as before. 81-99. And they themselves still dance unto the same. that blew upon them over the lake. Wordsworth also experiences delight in the idea of both flowers and waves executing a kind of dance. for weariness. Whose starry wheels he hath so made to pass. bright lady.and the rest tossedand reeled and danced. a principle beginning with the four elements and extending throughout the universe: Dancing.
supported by Wordsworth's addition of the second stanza of 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud' in 1815. as it were. Furthermore. They are all representations of the 'middle way'. as Davies does.. the point of referencenot only of the individual ego but of all those who are of like mind or who are bound together by fate . What I am going to suggest is that the act of creation is for the great lyric poet. In India this type is called mandala nrithya mandala dance. Again. At all events.. Ritual circumnambulation often bases itself quite consciously on the cosmic picture of the starry heavens revolving.. as we have seen... and that the poet is re-creating himself out of his own chaos.. yet Wordsworth's poetry speaks out for him and in accordance. rhythmic design which is at work on a cosmic scale (even the 'cloud' of line I is not out of place here) and even suggests a faint shadow of those four elements. It is one of the oldest religious symbols. they also bring it about . Tossing their heads in sprightly dance. on the 'dance of the stars' . earth. and its symbolism includes all concentrically arranged figures. the aim and effect of the solemn round dance is to impress upon the mind the image of the circle and the centre and the relation of each point along the periphery to that centre. and is found throughout the world . and their purpose is to transform chaos into cosmos. Psychologically this arrangement is equivalent to a mandala and is thus a symbol of the self. For these figures not only express order. in which case it frequently took an abstract geometric form. and an advance to the centre . with his theoretical concepts both of the imagination and of a harmonious interaction of spontaneity and direction. as for the great novelist or dramatist. a cosmos even. if complex. the marvellous assimilating and unifying power of Wordsworth's imagination brings together the daffodils. harmony. though Wordsworth does not speak of poetry dancing its highly-disciplined dance. Among symbols but my patients I have often come across cases of women who did not draw mandala or who danced them instead. This is. and water. which in the East was called . he need only remember the many examples of ritual dances.. The mandala was sometimes drawn or painted.. of the 'primal order of the total psyche'. it is true that Wordsworth does not describe the stars dancing.. air.HARVEY PETER SUCKSMITH I55 to the Elizabethan is metaphor in the Romantic poet. The Mandalas . where there is a circling round a central point. I believe. If dancing a mandala strikes the reader as strange.. for what this stanza opens up and stresses is the whole cosmic dimension of the poem: Continuous as the stars that shine And twinkle on the milky way. stars.. the re-creation of a world. which re-taps the same deep reservoir of human experience. all radial or spherical arrangements. or even of folk-dances. even of the integrated Self which has sometimes been called the mandala: Mandala is a Sanskrit word meaning magic circle. and all circles or squares with a central point.. a withdrawal to the four corners. and waves into a single. They stretched in never-ending line Along the margin of a bay: Ten thousand saw I at a glance. fire. I think. . of faith even. completeness. yet a metaphor. Thus. But he does associate them closely with the dancing daffodils on the one hand and their bright flicker which indicates light in motion with the waves which sparkle as they dance. which Davies had taken as the basic units of his universe. as Davies does... While what we have in both Davies's Orchestra and Wordsworth's image of the dance in 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud' is that archetype of psychic order. are pictures. and at other times seen as a vision (either waking or in a dream) or danced. and the dance figures express the same meanings as the drawings .
The Golden Flower is a mandala symbol which I have often met with in the material brought me by my patients . C.. The Secret theGolden Flower. when Wordsworth came to revise his poem in 1815. through the comparison with the stars and the reference to the sparkling waves. . 1953).pp. C. Jung. 65. and Psychology Religion: West and East. Many mandalas have been published in which the star or flower plays a central role and about the latter one comment seems particularly apt so far as Wordsworth's poem is concerned: For the most part. C. 'as a cloud'. 276. too. is closely associated with dancing and with the daffodils throughout the poem in a context of delight and joy.of consciously striving in awareness of the primordial forces of nature. 3 The fact that Wordsworth.. translated by R. the unconscious becomes conscious in the form of life and growth . light. his only reference to the colour of the daffodils in the poem. is caught up in line 17 ('What wealth the show to me had brought'). p. vi. F. to shape his personality into a whole. pp. he carefully substituted 'golden' for 'dancing' in line 4. of deepening insight: a culmination which is already present as an unacknowledged germ or seed in the earliest manifestation of the idea or motif.. that of richness. darkness gives birth to light. 66. of course. also.. too. Jung. in a remark to Miss Fenwick. which also contains the hidden possibility of communion with nature in the choice of the image. as we have already seen.. Baynes (London. This symbolism refers to a sort of alchemic process of refining and 'ennobling'. we can again appreciate the remarkable power of the imagination in Wordsworth's sense. attributed these lines to his wife does not affect the argument. 1950). pp. particularly in 'solitude' of line 22. Jolande ofC. G. cross. is caught up in line 2 : They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude. 97-8.1 If my interpretation seems a fanciful one . The geometric similarity between the star and many flowers is. bringing them together into an aesthetic unity and a meaningful whole. pp. Jacobi. of dawning consciousness. 99. and a further association with 'golden'. of what is most valuable.2 Moreover. An Introduction Jung's Psychology to (London. is from what is outward 1 Frieda Fordham. ix for examples of Mandalas of in which the star or flower plays a central role. To take a further example. Jung.I56 'I Wordsworth's Wandered Lonelyas a Cloud' Tao and which for Western man lies in the task of uniting the opposites. 134-5. But another connotation of 'golden'.then we might reflect further on what can hardly be a series of coincidences with regard to Wordsworth's poem. especially a golden flower.and of course I do not imply that either Davies or Wordsworth was aware of comparative religion or anticipated modern psychology . The Psychology 2 Jung. 98. that which is bright and gleams. G. G. his inner and outward reality ..3 And. since the poet accepted them as appropriate to his general design. the way in which the imagination binds together the earlier and later elements in the poem in a process of organic spiritual growth. is caught up again in the final lines of the poem. Mandalas frequently take the form of a star. and more particularly of a flower. 1962). See also plates I-Iv. translated by Cary F. or wheel .. In this way the union of consciousness and life takes place. translated by Ralph Manheim (London. Here. But now the solitariness has become a purposeful one in which an intensely inner communion with the daffodils is realized. the mandalaform is that of a flower. The Secretof the Golden Flower. the idea of loneliness and isolation in the first line. 1958). a matter of common observation. And we can appreciate. The spiritual progress. Hull (London. assimilating so many varied things.
they were also years of important personal events. it is a union of what is so frequently dissociated in man. And dances with the daffodils. A further eleven years elapsed before publication of the second. I supplicate for thy control. may become the link of association in recalling the feelings and images that had accompanied the original impression. (line 25) . Wordsworth's best as well as his most sympathetic critic yet he is. curiously literal-minded and imaginatively obtuse when he describes lines 21-2 as 'mental bombast': Nothing is more likely too. Which is the bliss of solitude! in what words shall we describe the joy of retrospection.the years of his acceptance of life that is. revised. Too blindly have reposed my trust: And oft. But if we describe this in such lines. I long for a repose that ever is the same. called 'life' and 'consciousness'. I feel the weight of chance-desires: My hopes no more must change their name. John. These were the most important years of Wordsworth's life. and untried. than that a vivid image or visual spectrum. the birth of his children. if I may. as They flash upon that inward eye. mother'sremarks abouthim. Furthermore. Or strong compunction in me wrought. not to say burlesquely. his illicit relations his own with AnnetteVallon. of mind and emotion. Yet being to myself a guide. version of I815. which he demonstrates practically in his poem. thus originated. of his composition of much of The Prelude. from this couplet toAnd then my heart with pleasure fills. in smoother walks to stray. But thee I now would serve more strictly. and of his settling down as a mature adult in the Lake District . and death of his beloved brother. by the yearfollowinghis composition and was a wildlypassionate rebellious of 'I WanderedLonelyas a Cloud'. But. suppose that Wordsworth's poem was dashed off in an idle moment. which makes poetry of the highest imagination so difficult an art and indeed a work of the very greatest psychological and spiritual importance. We must not.that Wordsworth's naturein earlylife. when in my heart was heard Thy timely mandate.he was writingthe 'Ode to Duty': I. in view of much that has been said earlier.1 Finally. loving freedom. in my view. we might reconsider Coleridge's criticism (in Chapter 22 of Biographia Literaria) of the final four lines of Wordsworth's poem. Coleridge is. Two years elapsed between the initial experience in I802 and the composition of the early version of the poem in 1804. But in the quietness of thought: Me this unchartered freedom tires. of most of his best work. of the sensational and the spiritual. and almost as in a medley. of course.HARVEY PETER SUCKSMITH I57 experience to what is inward illumination.' 1 We knowfromWordsworth's admission. like his marriage. of feeling and reflection.when the images and virtuous actions of a whole well-spent life pass before that conscience which is indeed the inwardeye: which is indeed 'the bliss of solitude' ? Coleridge goes on to indicate what he believes to be the bathos of the last two lines: 'Assuredly we seem to sink most abruptly. of his maturing as a poet. I deferred The task. and his regardfor the FrenchRevolutionin its earlystages. to a union of what we have seen. No sport of every random gust. in many ways. It is the harmonious bringing together of these conflicting opposites through the imagination which Wordsworth sees theoretically as the goal of the poetic process. Through no disturbance of my soul. in an earlier quotation.
a quality which I believe Wordsworth experienced himself and which his imagination does arouse in the reader when it is fully appreciated.a relaxation to prepare for the tension of the final line I am pour not sure. though there is a slight easing from the climax of line 22 appropriate to the rounding ~~0 of the poe. But certainly.158 'I Wordsworth's Wandered Lonelyas a Cloud' It is true that there is a slight sinking on the word. NOVA SCOTIA . SUCKSMITH HALIFAX. and wealth I have indicated earlier. if the oral stress is placed on 'dances' and if that word is allowed all the complex connotation. after the climax that has culminated in 'bliss' in the previous line. Whether this is a case of poetic reculer mieux sauter. I think the final line is far from weak. 'pleasure'. off HARVEY PETER SUKSMITH HARVLIFAX. weight.
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