Ode on Intimations of Immortality Essay

Ode on Intimations of Immortality Essay.

The Romantic Poet William Wordsworth wrote “Ode on Intimations of Immortality” in the midst of the Romantic Period during the early 19th century. This was a time of new scientific thought, observing nature, and social reform.

Critical Appreciation

This great poem gives expression to the human instinct for a belief in immortality. The poem is built around what may be called the doctrine of reminiscence. The child remembers the life he led in heaven before his birth in this world. The child is, therefore, sur¬rounded by a heavenly glory.

His memories of a pre-natal existence invest all Nature with a divine light. In other words, when the child looks at Nature, he finds all objects of Nature wrapped up in a dream-like splendour. But, as the child grows, he falls more and more under the influence of this world and, therefore, his memories of heaven become dimmer and dimmer till they fade out of his mind. The child remembers that he lived in heaven before his birth, while the grown-up man has no such recollection.

Therefore the child is greater than the man.

The child may be called a great prophet, a great seer, a great philosopher. But there are occasions in the life of a grown-up man when his memories of childhood bring him certain vague intimations of immortality. In other words, while the child’s feeling of immortality is based upon his memories of a heavenly life, the grown-up man’s feeling of immortality is based on his recollections of childhood. In maturity one misses the heavenly light which one saw as a child in the objects of Nature. But maturity has its own compen¬sations. With maturity comes the faith in a life after death. Maturity, too, brings reflection (or “the philosophic mind”); while the sight of human suffering gives rise to “soothing thoughts”. In this temper, even the meanest flower can arouse in a man thoughts which are so deep that they cannot be expressed even through tears.

As an ode, Intimations of Immortality has an irregular form. However, it is by general consent one of the greatest of Wordsworth’s poems. It is built on a simple but majestic plan. The first four stanzas tell of his spiritual crisis; of a glory passing from the earth, and end by asking why this has happened. The middle stanzas (v-viii) examine the nature of this glory and explain it by a theory of reminiscence from a pre-natal existence. Then the last three stanzas show that, though the vision has perished, life has still a meaning and a value. Wordsworth has very vividly described the psychology of the child. The child is an imitator, an actor who performs all parts, and who copies every action and gesture that he sees. The poem is mainly autobiographical and reminiscent of the poet’s past life.

The radiance and glory of Nature, which he declares as having seen in his childhood, was a part of his own personal ex¬perience, while he also felt the unreality of the outward objects to which he refers in the ninth stanza. We have his own statement in support of this. Wordsworth’s pictorial gift or image-making power may be noticed in this poem.He gives vivid pictures of the rainbow, the rose, the moon shining in a cloudless sky, the star-light falling on waters, the children collecting fresh flowers, the babe leaping on his mother’s arm, etc. Wordsworth was a keen worshipper of Nature. He is the grea¬test Nature poet in English Literature. ‘The ode clearly brings out the difference between his love for Nature as a child and his love for Nature as a man. As a child, he had a passion for Nature, and he experienced intoxicating joys on seeing it. But he developed a spiritual love for Nature when he became a man.

His love for Nature was now meditative, sober and reflective and even the most ordinary objects of Nature gave rise to deep and profound thoughts in him. Having witnessed human suffering, he looked at Nature thoughtfully. The ode is not written in the language Wordsworth regularly used in his poetry. Its tone is high and stately. Wordsworth thought his subject so im¬portant that he treated it in what was for him an unusual manner, and for it he fashioned his own high style. The poet has used such rhythmic and effective phrases that many of them are now commonly employed in the English language. Words used to express thoughts and emotions in this poem are very appropriate. The grandeur of langu¬age befits the grandeur of theme. There is thus a perfect harmony between thought and expression.

Although the ode contains a metaphysical doctrine, yet there is in it a deep and sincere personal emotion which gives it a lyrical character. The first four stanzas in which the poet expresses his sense of loss and the last two stanzas where he refers to the compen¬sations which make him happy are intensely emotional and possess a singing quality. This has been expressed in the ode. The poet refers to human suffering which he has witnessed and the sympathy which he feels for his fellow human beings. This sympathy for man¬kind is common to almost all the romantic poets. The sober close of this great ode has been compared to the close of a splendid evening. In other words, the reflective mood of the poet deepens in the last stanza. No one can remain untouched by the restful and soothing effect of the music at the close.

Ode on Intimations of Immortality Essay

Nature in his poem “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” Essay

Nature in his poem “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” Essay.

Wordsworth’s Attitude Towards Nature”Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” was written in July of 1798 and published as the last poem of Lyrical Ballads, also in 1798.This poem is a statement of Wordsworth complete philosophy of nature. TheThe first part gives a vivid description of the scene visited by the poet. This shows a minute and close observation of nature.

He was extra-ordinary sensitive to the sites of nature. Indeed, in the very title of his poem, he announces the time and place of his return visit, and lets us know where he is positioned in the landscape that he describes.

He sits in a specific spot, a “few miles above” an abandoned abbey in the valley of the river Wye; thus he has a broad perspective on the landscape he will describe. As he writes the poem, he is reclines “under [a] dark sycamore.” He said that when he was young he did not understand or hear the pain of humanity because he was thoughtless and had nothing to do with spirit just the physical pictures pleased his eyes .

But later on the enjoyment is over and the poet had raised his inset . He became able to hear the suffering of humanity . In addition the sound of human suffir4ngh and pain is not harsh or jarring to his ears . But , it is the opposite , it has clarified him . He became a spiritual person .

Also, he tries to convince her to love nature, because if she loves it she will be in an elevated position, all the bad things will not hurt her and her attitudes and thoughts towards life will change.

Poetry to Wordswoth is emotions recollected in tranquility, or he believed that it is nothing but spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.

The poem as a whole is an example of the philosophy of Romanticism and how the consideration of the external reality of nature leads towards inner consideration.


“Free Essay on William Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey.” 123HelpMe.com. 30 May 2008.

Nature in his poem “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” Essay

Imaginative Journeys essay Essay

Imaginative Journeys essay Essay.

The imaginative journey is one in which we escape reality and are invited to acknowledge a new reality within the realms of the imagination. These journeys offer change and discovery providing valuable insight into ones past, present and future. Coleridge’s poems, “This Limetree Bower My Prison” and “Frost at Midnight” take the reader on an imaginative journey with the character through various forms of imagery placing a clear image in the readers mind. The book cover for “The Ivory Trail” by Victor Kelleher offers an artistic representation of the journey with images superimposed for added effect.

The movie “The Butterfly Effect” co-directed by Eric Bress and J.Mackye Grubber is based on the chaos theory in which every little occurrence leads to a much larger event. The TV Show “Lost” follows the lives of 14 survivors of a plane crash placed in unrealistic circumstances on a strange island. These texts represent what the imaginative journey has to offer in a variety of ways.

The poems of Coleridge were written in the Romanticist era and thus, have elements of nature imagery imbedded within. For example in “Kubla Khan” Coleridge describes the location “Where Alph, the sacred river, ran through caverns measureless to man…” using nature imagery to place a clear image in the readers mind and enjambment to keep the flow of the poem. As mentioned above his poetry represents not just a journey for the character, but also a journey for the reader through the nature and sensory imagery.

“This Limetree Bower My Prison” is a poem in which Coleridge, incapacitated due to injury, takes us on an imaginative journey with him to the dell where his friends are exploring. Taking this journey gives rise to a change of opinion. Coleridge originally feels trapped giving a negative view of his situation, “This Limetree bower my prison”, using the metaphor of his situation being like a prison to emphasise the fact that he feels trapped. Upon taking the journey his opinion is changed as “A delight comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad as I myself were there”. An enjambment is used here to keep the flow of the poem while making the reader pause at the final words of each line for their emphasis. From the journey Coleridge learns for himself, and teaches the reader, that “nature ne’er deserts the wise and pure”

“Frost at Midnight” is another of Coleridge’s poems in which Coleridge, only in the company of his sleeping child, reflects upon his childhood and school life. The reflection, sparked by the dancing flames of the fire allows Coleridge to come to the conclusion that his education was poor because he “saw nought lovely but the sky and stars.” He resolves to make his sons education better than his own because his son “shalt wander like a breeze by lakes and sandy shores”. The importance of nature is again emphasised here clearly placing the poem in the Romantic era.

The book cover for “The Ivory Trai”l is an artistic representation of journey in which the arrangement of the images makes it one of the imagination. The head in the sand with eyes gazing is indicative of an imaginative of an imaginative journey taking place as in the imaginative journey, the journeyer often gazes and contemplates new worlds. The surrounding images are placed above the head indicating they are from the mind and further emphasising that the journey is of the imagination. The text at the top “Not all journey’s have an ending” not only makes the reader contemplate whether this journey has an ending, it also emphasises the limitlessness of the imagination.

The movie “The Butterfly Effect” is one in which the main character, Evan, takes imaginative journeys into his past in the hope of altering his future, with disastrous consequences. As in “Frost at Midnight”, the journey is sparked by a specific object, in Evan’s case, this is his diary or the home videos. The journey is represented by a blurring of the image on screen, a flash of light and we are in the main character’s past. Through multiple journeys the character comes to realise that he must die for things to be ‘right’ because he has “no soul, no lifeline” he was “never meant to be”.

The TV Show, “Lost” is one in which imaginative journeys take place for both the audience and the characters. It is a journey for the audience as they are taken from reality to the imaginative realm of the island, complete with polar bears, a mechanical ‘security system’ and a secret revealed piece by piece. It is an imaginative journey for the characters as they reflect upon their lives before the plane crash and the crash itself. The journeys often make the character make rash decisions for example when Kate reflects upon the crimes she committed she makes the decision to steal another characters spot on the raft so she has a better chance of escape.

In one particular episode, one of the characters, Locke, is reflecting on a meeting with a woman claiming to be his mother. This leads onto the dream sequence in which Locke sees a plane crash, and this woman pointing in its direction. Locke sees this as his ‘sign’ and travels along the path to eventually find the crashed plane. A key quote of his “Possible is a relative term, especially on this island” emphasises how anything is possible in the imagination and clearly places this island within the realm of the imagination.

Imaginative journeys are those in which we escape reality and are invited to acknowledge a new reality within the realm of the imagination.

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Imaginative Journeys essay Essay

What was the romantic movement? Essay

What was the romantic movement? Essay.

Commenced in late 18th century as a consequence of dynamic social change culminating in the French Revolution and the Napoleonic era

Romanticism was an intellectual orientation that was instilled in many works of literature, painting, music etc. in Western civilization between the 1790’s and 1840’s

It was a rejection of the precepts of order, calm, physical materialism, and 18th century rationalism

Instead it was a celebration of the power of the imagination, the development of nationalistic pride, the individual, the emotional and the transcendental.

It embraced human emotion and passion before rationality

A celebration of nature, of the creative relationship between the human heart and the natural world and of the desire to exhibit highest human potential

Romanticism changed the perceptions people held of nature, of the importance of spiritual and imaginative enlightenment and allowed people to remove themselves from the rational views of life, to focus on an emotional side of humanity.

What beliefs did they hold about the nature of the world?

The Neoclassicist poets that preceded the Romantic Movement were obsessed with reason and commonsense.

They believed everything was ordered, logical and correct, which was reflected in their highly structured poetry and their use of satire and wit to comment on life.

In reaction, Anti-intellectualism emerged – belief that everything could not be rationalized. Nature was seen was the ultimate wonder, not to study but to be appreciated and enjoyed.

Writers of the Romantic Age reacted strongly to the events of their time:

o The city became synonymous with pain and hardship, from the poor conditions for the proletariat during the early stages of Industrial Revolution.

o Supporters of the French Revolution, who had envisioned a new age of democracy and equality in Britain, were left in a state of bitter disappointment, esp. after its decline into “The Terror”.

Nature, the literal opposite of the industrial city offered new perspectives on the world, became a symbol of good against the evil that was industralisation and its negative consequences.

The emphasized and deepened appreciation of the beauties of nature was believed to inspire

Nature was the medium through which one could express their emotions (a major element of Romanticism) for it was seen as raw and without confinement, without formality of any kind. This was reflected in work of Romantic poets, who often wrote in blank verse, without stresses or rhyming rules.

What beliefs did they hold of humanity?

The Romantics were not against progress but feared the effects of Industrialisation and new technology on society.

The romantics admired rural communities and country life; the industrial revolution ended the textiles “cottage industry” and forced many working classes to move to the city, where people became deformed by machinery and women and children get most jobs because they were cheaper labour. city-life was repressive, filthy and unnaturally ugly -> cities of the Industrial Revolution were often without infrastructure (i.e. sewage) and the working class lived in slums, 1 family/room

They believed that man could create a better world without materialism and he can do so by turning to Nature.


The Romantics were against the Enlightenment, with its vision of mankind as being part of a group rather than an individual -> they embraced Individualism and human diversity

Romantics believed in the revitalising of humankind by the encouragement of the relationship of the heart and the natural world.

What beliefs did they hold of religion?

As it was “God” who created nature, loving and connecting with nature was seen as spiritual enlightenment and a method of being closer to god.

Rather than idolizing a God with a face and personality, the Romantics saw “God” as a transcendent force that could be seen in everything.

The result of pre-French Revolution society was Primitivism – belief that man was born inherently good but became evil through the influence of society. This went against the traditional teachings of the Church, who claimed that man was inherently evil.

Nevertheless, the Romantics believed Christianity to be “the most poetic, most human, the most conducive to freedom, to arts and literature…” of all religions, as written by Rene de Chateaubriand in “The Genius of Christianity”.

The Romantics believed that science was lacking this element that could benefit humanity. They saw science as too systematic, narrow-minded and downright heartless.

What was the romantic movement? Essay

Critical Lens Essay on Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay

Critical Lens Essay on Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay.

The Romantic period, which lasted from 1780 to 1837, was a time of innovation and imagination, especially in the field of literature (hearts-ease.org). Not only was literature changing, but so was the whole world. There was a strong sense of nationalism, self-expression, questions were asked, and people were more concerned with beauty than logic. “The Lyrical Ballads” was the first romantic piece published, and paved the way for the Romantic Movement which left a lasting impact on literature, culture, and way of life.

After the joint effort of William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge in the creation of “The Lyrical Ballads,” Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” in the 1790s. Coleridge used his imagination to create brilliant imagery, supernatural beings, writing that was abstract rather than realistic, and themes of nature. All of these elements combined to create the most renowned poem during the Romantic Period.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a creative poem due to it’s splendid use of imagery.

Imagery helps to make Coleridge’s poem romantic because it is a powerful tool that articulates a message in creative and descriptive detail. Imagery is often referred to as “the sensations that language creates in the mind”. According to dictionary.com, imagery is the use of vivid or figurative language to represent objects, actions, or ideas. One example of a quote from “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” that has imagery is the following. “The death-fires danced at night; the water, like a witch’s oils, burnt green, and blue and white.” (5 of 20). This is imagery because the reader can visualize the death-fires, and comprehend what Coleridge was trying to show the reader. This is very imaginative, and would not occur in real life. Because of imagery, Coleridge was able to create a very romantic mood, which helped strengthen his poem.

Another way that Coleridge’s poem is romantic is through intense detail and language that makes the supernatural appear to be real, and combines it with the known world. All who read it question if these supernatural beings really do exist. One example of how Coleridge uses the supernatural element is in the following quotation. “Is that a DEATH? and are there two? Is DEATH that woman’s mate? Her lips were red, her looks were free, Her locks were yellow as gold: Her skin was as white as leprosy, the Night-mare LIFE-N-DEATH was she, Who thicks man’s blood with cold.” (7 of 20). This quote uses superb details and descriptive language that makes DEATH and LIFE-N-DEATH appear to be real. Coleridge uses his extraordinary imagination to create two supernatural beings that appear real and frightening. Because the Romantic period had much more artistic freedom than the periods before it, Coleridge was able to use supernatural beings as a major theme in his poem.

Lastly, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is romantic because it is abstract and uses the theme of nature to show that people must love all living things. Coleridge created this abstract atmosphere by using literary elements such as theme and symbol. One example of Coleridge’s use of symbolism is in the following quote from the poem. “At length did cross an Albatross, Through the fog it came; As if it had been a Christian soul, We hailed it in God’s name.” (3 of 20). Symbolism is, according to dictionary.com, the practice of representing things by means of symbols or of attributing symbolic meanings or significance to objects, events, or relationships. The use of symbolism in the above section is evident when Coleridge compares the Albatross to a Christian soul, such as Jesus. The Albatross therefore symbolizes a holy figure, such as Simon in Lord of the Flies. The language in which Coleridge describes the Albatross is also very abstract.

Rather than the ordinary way of saying “then came an Albatross,” Coleridge uses his sense of passion, and not reason to write this poem. He says “through the fog it came; As if it had been a Christian soul.” Coleridge also uses the literary element of theme by using nature to show that all beings should show “love and reverence to all things that God made and loveth.” (20 of 20). This theme is addressed when Coleridge says, “O happy living things! no tongue Their beauty might declare: A spring of love gushed from my heart, And I blessed them unaware: Sure my kind saint took pity on me, And I blessed them unaware.” (10 of 20). This quotation takes place when the Mariner sees water snakes and blesses them.

This is when the spell on the Mariner begins to break, because he has begun to appreciate nature, instead of destroying living things. In “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” Coleridge’s use of language is very original and inventive. The reader can understand exactly what the Albatross represents, and how the Mariner felt about the snakes. Also, the Mariner’s emotions flooded the text, which made “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” a wonderful piece of poetry. By having an abstract sentiment, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” was able to accomplish its goal in becoming a romantic piece.

In conclusion, “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is a romantic poem because passion, not reason, ruled, and imagination was more important than logic. Coleridge was able to use his imagination to generate dazzling sentences filled with imagery, supernatural beings, and all of which included writing that was elusive as a replacement for the logical and mathematical wording. Due to the use of imagery, Coleridge expressed a message in creative and vivid detail. By using nature, Coleridge was able to teach the reader of the major theme in the story, to love all living things. Because of his imagination, Coleridge created an abstract story that people have come to respect for hundreds of years. Because of that, Coleridge became known as the father of the romantic period, and one of the greatest poets of that time period.

Critical Lens Essay on Rime of the Ancient Mariner Essay