Wordsworth’s Treatment of Nature
Question: Comment on the treatment of nature in “Tintern Abbey”.
Or, Discuss the development of thought towards nature in “Tintern Abbey”.
Or, Discuss Wordsworth’s philosophy of nature.
Nature was a living soul to Wordsworth (1770-1750). Wordsworth’s observation of nature is different from John Keats who observes nature with physical and sensuous beauty. But Wordsworth observes nature with spiritual communion. The poem “Tintern Abbey” is a record of Woodsworth’s profound and consecrate relationship with nature. Sensuous beauty of nature
Sensuous beauty of nature
At the outset of the poem, Wordsworth mentions a long lapse of time. Five years ago, on July 13, 1793, the poet came to Tintern on the bank of the River Wey. After five years, he has again come here with his all-time mate Dorothy. At the first visit, the poet’s love for nature was sensuous only. He could feel nature and natural beauty with his senses like his sister Dorothy.
The sounding cataract Haunted me like a passion: …….
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
But now at the second visit, the animal pleasure has gone and the poet can mark the lapse of time which has brought a great change in his thoughts and philosophy.
Philosophic speculation of nature
The poet starts to describe his spiritual development and philosophic thought as to nature after a very beautiful sensuous pleasure of nature. He also declares that he is not dissatisfied and frustrated because of the absence of sensual pleasure of nature within himself. Rather he is glad and elegant now by the supreme gifts of nature.
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur other gifts
Have followed; for such loss, I would believe,
The philosophic speculation of nature expressed in the poem can be appreciated in the following way:
Great source of knowledge
Nature is a great source of knowledge and thoughts to Wordsworth. He thinks of nature as all in all that is why he asserts:
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.
Bearer of the sad song of humanity
At the philosophic stage, nature is now deeper to the poet. He can hear the “Sad music of humanity” in close contact with nature. Contemplation over human misery has purified and humanized his soul. Thus, he finds an eternal bond with nature and man.
Repository of the healing power
Now nature is the repository of healing power to Wordsworth. The poet is indebted to nature a lot because the memories with nature soothe him in loneliness and chaotic modern city life.
“In lonely rooms and mid the din Of town and cities, I have owed to them”
The loyalty of nature
In the last segment of the poem, the poet has given a glowing tribute to his sister Dorothy and earnestly requests her to go in close to nature because-
“Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her”
The poet has here glorified nature as the true friend of human beings. In our real, we may be cheated by our hypocrite comrades but nature always provides us thoughts and knowledge.
The mystic concept of nature
As a poet of nature, Wordsworth is deeply mystic. He believes that a divine spirit penetrates through all objects of nature. As a true pantheist he has said too that all is God and God is all. His acclaimed poem “Tintern Abbey” is not devoid of this mystic concept. In this poem, he says:
“And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
………………………. of man.”
Thus, according to Wordsworth, there is a pre-arranged harmony between the spirit of nature and the mind of man since nature purely teaches and educates human beings.
Now therefore it can be terminated that “Tintern Abbey” records the development of the thought of Wordsworth towards nature. The flawless noble beauty of the poem sumps up Wordsworth’s philosophy of nature and also prove that Wordsworth is a perfect poet of nature.