Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey on Revisiting the Banks of Wye while a Tour 13 July 1798 or generally known as Tintern Abbey is one of the greatest poems of the greatest poet of Nature, William Wordsworth. Wordsworth was one of the most renowned poets of the Romantic period, and here Romantic doesn’t signify the period during which the poets wrote about love but it signifies that it was the period during poet wrote about Nature and its beauty, truth, and different emotions.

Tintern Abbey is considered as a kind of monologue in verse as Wordsworth already confessed that he composed this masterpiece in his mind when he was walking along the river Wye. The poem, Tintern Abbey, belongs to the Lyrical Ballads, the book which is considered as the inaugural book of the Romantic English Poetry with the other 19 poems by Wordsworth and four by Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The poem depicts the beauty of nature and was written by Wordsworth on a tour with his sister Dorothy.

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Background of Tintern Abbey

The roots of the poem, Tintern Abbey, belong to the personal history of Wordsworth. The poem is written by Wordsworth on his second visit to the Tintern Abbey with his sister Dorothy. Since Wordsworth met Coleridge and began their poetical relationship, he has composed the entire poem in his mind, beginning it upon leaving the Tintern Abbey.

The poem, Tintern Abbey, is written in a tightly structured decasyllabic black verse and comprises verse paragraphs rather than stanzas. The poem is considered being a conversation poem and here the silent listener is the sister of Wordsworth, Dorothy, and she has been addressed in the last section of the poem.

Form of Tintern Abbey

The poem, Tintern Abbey is written in blank verse, i.e. the unrhymed lines in iambic pentameter. The style of the poem is fluid and natural and is easy to read. But the structure of the poem is tightly constructed and there is a slight variation by Wordsworth on the stresses of iambic rhythms is significant. Occasionally, the divided lines are used to show a kind of break in the paragraphs when the poet changes his subject or shifts the focus of his discourse.

Also Read, ‘O Captain! My Captain!’: A Grieving Beauty of Walt Whitman

Main Themes of Tintern Abbey

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The complete title of the poem, “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey on Revisiting the Banks of Wye During a Tour 13 July 1798”, is a major narrative statement that expresses the heart of the “Romantic Movement”. The principal theme of the poem, Tintern Abbey, is that the memory of pure communion with nature in childhood works upon the mind even in the person’s adulthood. We in our adulthood still recall and recollect the memories of our innocent past.

Summary of the poem, Tintern Abbey

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The poem, Tintern Abbey opens up with the declaration of the poet that five years have passed since he last visited the place and encountered its tranquil environment, rustic scenes, and heard the murmuring waters of the river. He recites the objects that he sees again and expresses their effect on his mind. “The steep and lofty cliffs” impress upon him. He leans against the dark sycamore tree and looks around at the orchard trees, whose fruits are still too ripe, and he continues describing the surroundings and scenes of the whole location.

Then Wordsworth continues describing that how the memories of these “beauteous forms” have worked upon him in his absence from them. When he was alone or was in crowded cities and towns, these memories provided him the sweet sensations that he felt in the blood and along with the heart. He then credits the memory of the scene that influenced his deeds of love and kindness. Also, these memories offered him access to the mental and spiritual state in which the burden of the world is lightened.

Even in the present moment of the speaker, the vision of his experiences of the location are hovering over his present view of them and he is feeling bittersweet joy in reviving them. He feels happy and excited that his present experiences will serve as happy memories for the coming years of the future. The poet notices he is quite different now from the person he was a long time ago when he was a boy.

In those days, he says, nature made up his entire world: mountains, waterfalls, and woods gave shape to his appetites, passion, and love. But that time is now gone, still his not regretting or mourning it, for though he cannot resume his complete relationship with nature, he has been amply compensated by a new set of mature gifts. Now he can sense something far more powerful, subtle, and fundamental in the setting suns, the air, the ocean, and so on.

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He further says that even if he didn’t feel this way, he would still be in good spirits because today he is not alone. He is in the company of his beloved sister, Dorothy, who is also her dear friend. He now offers his prayers to nature that he might continue to do for a little while because he knows that nature never betrays the soul that loves her. Then he encourages the moon to shine upon his dear sister and the wind to blow against her. He then tells his sister that when he will be sad or upset in the coming years the memories of this beautiful experience will help in her healing.