Monday, June 30, 2014

Poem of the Day: "Ode on Intimations of Immortality, Part XI" by William Wordsworth, Poet of the Month

For the Songs of Eretz Poem of the Day for June 30, 2014, we shall complete our study of "Ode on Intimations of Immortality" by William Wordsworth, Poet of the Month.  This will complete our thirty-poem, month-long survey of the great poet.

Ode on Intimations of Immortality, Part XI
William Wordsworth

And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish’d one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway;
I love the brooks which down their channels fret
Even more than when I tripp’d lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born day
               Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
   Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
   Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
   To me the meanest flower that blows can give
   Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

Wordsworth begins the ending of his "Ode" with bold apostrophe, shouting his undying love of the countryside to the countryside.  However, it is the ever changing, ever flowing brooks with which he identifies the most--more than the relatively unchanging landscape.  Halfway through, the poet evokes God whom he sees as ever watchful over mankind.  The past joins the present and the future as he makes reference in succession to "another (past) race," followed by "the human heart by which we live (now)," and finally to the profound thoughts that even "the meanest flower (for the rest of his life)" may provoke in him.

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