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Thread: The Prelude

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2010

    The Prelude

    According to the site data, "About 1798 he started to write a large and philosophical autobiographical poem, completed in 1805, and published posthumously in 1850 under the title The Prelude."
    As an assignment for class, at Montery Peninsula College, I analyzed part of Book First, yet it is not part of the works accessible on this site. Perhaps I missed it and if I did, please point me to it on the site. If not on the site why not, i.e. was the work edited by someone else.
    The lines analyzed from Book First are at 351-371. In the text, "Western Literature in a World Context" Vol. 2.
    The lines begin
    “The mind of man is framed even like the breath
    And harmony of music. There is a dark
    Invisible workmanship that reconciles
    Discordant elements, makes them cling together
    In one society..."
    Online at and in other works, the beginning is
    ”Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows 340
    Like harmony in music; there is a dark
    Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles
    Discordant elements, makes them cling together
    In one society...."
    My comments were
    "Book First of the Poem is Wordsworth journey as poet. How he came to be and how he has been fashioned by his experiences. The opening lines of the excerpt
    “Fair seed-time had my soul, and I grew up
    Fostered alike by beauty and by fear…”
    provide an image of that dormant seed awaiting the rain and sun to burst forth in all its floral glory. He is nurtured by the beauty of his surroundings but also “fear”, which, in context, is his experience with the French Revolution and the ensuing reign of terror.
    Before the lines quoted, he is talking about his youth, but in the context of the work, he talks about struggling with themes for his poetry. In the lines quoted, he is dealing with the poetic mind and the experiences that make up that mind, “…terrors, pains, and early miseries, Regrets, vexations, lassitudes interfused…” In short, what he has seen and experienced being recalled, in moments of reflection, “The calm existence…when I am worthy of myself!”
    He comments on how nature for some appears in gentle visitation, parting the clouds, with the flickering lightning, but to him her ministrations were much more severe, but designed to suit her aims. Again, I assume he is referring to his experience in France.
    Perhaps someone can shed light on why the difference in text. Did he re-write? I also found Wordsworth to be more introspective than I would have assumed for someone who was only 35 at the time the poem was composed."
    Perhaps someone who follows this site can explain the different language, the editor???

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    can somebody help me please?I've been searching a poem ...a know only some lyrics..."swayz the soul..."...The poem is written by W.Wordsworth.Thanks a lot!!!!

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