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And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his
shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted — nevermore!
EDGAR ALLAN POE.
QUESTIONS FOR STUDY
you read each passage, try to see the force of the sounds of the words, by which the poet produces his especial weird effects.
Make lists of alliterative words, that is, words used together in which the same sound is regularly repeated. Point out words that by their sounds are intended to affect the feelings.
What was the poet's state of mind? (Lines 1-18.) Had this anything to do with the effect of the Raven's visit?
Do you think the poet had any broader or deeper motive in this poem than to produce a "creepy" effect through the artistic use of words? If so, what
How does he make it plain?
About Wordsworth, as about Browning, there has always raged a controversy as to whether he is really a great poet or not. But as time passes the judgment is steadily crystallizing that he belongs in the class of great, or almost great, writers. Some of his writings are beautiful, even perb. Some are trivial and almost ridiculous. The latter are due to the fact that the poet was possessed of a theory which represented a “movement." He believed that poetry should be an exact statement of facts, and in some of his poems he described facts so trivial as to have no universal value. But in such poems as The Ode on the Intimations of Immortality he showed his real greatness.
He lived among the hills and lakes of England, which he has put into so much of his verse. In 1843 he was made Poet Laureate of England, a distinction of very doubtful value.
The following three short poems show Wordsworth the poet, not the follower of a theory.
One poem, the Daffodils, shows the poet's deep love of nature; another, She was a Phantom of Delight, is a beautiful tribute to womanhood at its best; the third, Ode to Duty, illustrates the elevating moral quality of Wordsworth's poetry.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
Continuous as the stars that shine
The waves beside them danced; but they
For oft, when on my couch I lie,
QUESTIONS FOR STUDY Line 1. Did you ever think of a solitary cloud, high in the heavens, as lonely?
Line 4. Can you realize how to the lonely poet the crowd of golden daffodils were company ?
Line 16. What is the “jocund company” that makes the poet gay ?
Line 24. What is the meaning of the last stanza ?
ODE TO DUTY
Stern Daughter of the Voice of God!
5 Thou, who art victory and law
There are who ask not if thine eye
Where no misgiving is, rely
Who do thy work, and know it not: 15 Oh! if through confidence misplaced They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power! around
Serene will be our days and bright,
When love is an unerring light, 20 And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold
25 I, loving freedom, and untried;
No sport of every random gust,