Wordsworth and nature,

C Robb W. 444°

I've just spent the weekend on a literary landscapes excursion in the Lake District of England. Wordsworth was the predominant focus and I found his expression of the value of pure natural experience to be illuminating. Here is one of my favorites, though apparently acknowledged to be one of his lesser poems I like it for it's critique of human introspection.

The Tables Turned- By Wordsworth

Up! up! my Friend and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first evening yellow.

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your Teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless -
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous form of things: -
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

2 replies

John P. 199°

My favorite poet is Patrick Kavanagh. He grew up in the wilds of county Monaghan. His upbringing made him feel brutish when he first arrived in the big city. Later after a serious illness he wrote of the rejuvination he received from a simple walk along Dublin's Grand Canal:

Leafy-with-love banks and the green waters of the canal
Pouring redemption for me, that I do
The will of God, wallow in the habitual, the banal,
Grow with nature again as before I grew.
The bright stick trapped, the breeze adding a third
Party to the couple kissing on an old seat,
And a bird gathering materials for the nest for the Word
Eloquently new and abandoned to its delirious beat.
O unworn world enrapture me, encapture me in a web
Of fabulous grass and eternal voices by a beech,
Feed the gaping need of my senses, give me ad lib
To pray unselfconsciously with overflowing speech
For this soul needs to be honoured with a new dress woven
From green and blue things and arguments that cannot be proven.

I often walk along the canal where Kavanagh's statue still sits. Just to get away from the hustle and bustle and wallow in nature, for a bit.

Thanks for reminding me.

Written in September 2008

C Robb W. 444°

nice

Written in September 2008

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