You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section. Each poem follows the same basic story: a beloved young woman dies an early death. Unlike poets before him, who wrote poetry solely based upon classical subjects, Wordsworth wanted his poetry to imitate the actions and thoughts of people like himself. The first stanza simply strikes up curiosity about Lucy and sets her up as an important figure. The fifth poem, Three years she grew, is less direct. Bialostosky, Making Tales: The Poetics of Wordsworth's Narrative Experiments Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1984. Bewell, Wordsworth and the Enlightenment: Nature, Man, and Society in the Experimental Poetry New Haven: Yale University Press, 1989.
During 1798 Wordsworth also worked on a piece of prose setting out his evolving ideas on justice and morality. This shows that the poems contradict each other in many ways. Fully the Tory mouthpiece, Wordsworth argued that the Whigs had put too much faith in human nature, as they and he did at the commencement of the French Revolution. It has to do with the stress and rhyme abab patterns as well as with the choice of language. Only after his death in 1850 did publishers and critics begin to treat the poems as a fixed group. Sometimes, Lucy symbolizes a lover, and other times she symbolizes the pure and innocent love a father has for his daughter. A violet by a mossy stone Half-hidden from the Eye! For all Nature's beauty and beneficence, there is an underlying threat, a note of impending doom.
By the fifth stanza, the speaker has been lulled into a somnambulistic trance—he sleeps while still keeping his eyes on the moon lines 17—20. Whether violent or not, all forms of control over women stem from the same fear of the feminine Wordsworth exhibits in the Lucy Poems. Lucy is a Woman in a Refrigerator, because, were she still alive, Wordsworth would have nothing to write about her. Lucy could therefore be a representation of any of the single, lonely women who have lived quiet and simple lives. In 1843 Wordsworth was named poet laureate of England, though by this time he had for the most part quit composing verse.
This is an effective way of also showing us that part of Lucy still exists, if only in his mind. Politically, Wordsworth had completely transformed himself; poetically, he repeated earlier formulas and began rearranging his poems in a seemingly infinite sequence of thematically organized volumes. Wordsworth's voice slowly disappears from the poems as they progress, and his voice is entirely absent from the fifth poem. To find out we need to examine the evidence presented in the poems. The most effective of these causes are the great national events which are daily taking place, and the encreasing accumulation of men in cities, where the uniformity of their occupations produces a craving for extraordinary incident which the rapid communication of intelligence hourly gratifies.
The best Wordsworth poems W. This means that A and B are wrong here. But even in the 1800 version of the preface Wordsworth made an explicit connection between a plain poetic diction and a proper relationship to nature and society; that is, he makes the issue of a poetic diction a moral one, and his critique of a sonnet by Thomas Gray is an ethical demonstration as well as an example of literary criticism directed by one generation against the preceding one. And nothing is more obvious than Wordsworth's reliance on feeling and emotion both as inspiration and subject of poetry. He saw himself as not quite white enough.
This newfound love for country commits him to a decision to never step foot off the island nation again. These descriptions of Lucy help to continue to paint a picture of a sweet and innocent child. The poem, She dwelt among, concentrates solely on Lucy. Throughout the poems, Lucy takes on the advantages of a perfect memory that seems to exceed even the idealization of the memory of actual person. In March of 1778 Ann Wordsworth died while visiting a friend in London. Whether Lucy was based on a real woman or was a figment of the poet's imagination has long been a matter of debate among scholars.
In June 1778 Dorothy was sent to live in Halifax, Yorkshire, with her mother's cousin Elizabeth Threlkeld, and she lived with a succession of relatives thereafter. The sadness is deep and stays long after the poem has finished. It is more likely that Margaret's death influenced but is not the foundation for Lucy. White Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1953. In the preface, Wordsworth characterized those forces as acting against the elevation of mind in which the poet specializes, and he identified them with urban life: For a multitude of causes unknown to former times are now acting with combined force to blunt the discriminating powers of the mind, and unfitting it for all voluntary exertion to reduce it to a state of almost savage torpor. Four of the poems are made up of a number of quatrains with a rhyming pattern of A-B-A-B.
William Wordsworth: A Poetic Life. Unrequited, idealistic longing is a central theme in these poems. In their most sinister form, these individual-level control methods take the forms of rape, domestic violence, and murder. This childhood idyll was not to continue, however. Ernest de Selincourt and Chester Shaver. Department of English, University of Toronto. Three years later, in 1790, he visited and supported the Republican movement, although the later made him change his mind.