valadilenne: (Nature: violet sunset)
[personal profile] valadilenne
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What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind.

"Intimations of Immortality," William Wordsworth

I have had an ongoing blood feud with Wordsworth for some time. He was the most prominent of the lake poets and was the most guilty of their crime--thinking that poetry could somehow lift up the impoverished unskilled laborers who were forced to move from the country to the city during the Industrial Revolution. They believed that poetry could save their souls and inspire them to return to their roots. This was before he became a tax collector and was happy to make money off the poor. Arrogant asshattery, in other words.

But this passage does something to me. It seems to say that even though the brilliance and beauty of youth leave us all at some point, we still have our memories of what was once great, and no one can take that away from us. It moves away from what his central message originally was. It's such a beautiful and honest sentiment that I'm really looking forward to visiting the Lakes this summer.
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Valadilenne

May 2009

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