William Wordsworth (1770- 1850), British poet, credited with ushering in the English Romantic Movement with the publication of Lyrical Ballads(1798) in collaboration with Samuel Taylor Coleridge.Samuel Taylor Coleridge
William Wordsworth was born on 7 April 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland, in the Lake District. His father was John Wordsworth, Sir James Lowther's attorney. The magnificent landscape deeply affected Wordsworth's imagination and gave him a love of nature. He lost his mother when he was eight and five years later his father. The domestic problems separated Wordsworth from his beloved and neurotic sister Dorothy, who was a very important person in his life.
Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland Lass! Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here, or gently pass! Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy strain; O listen! for the Vale profound Is overflowing with the sound.
No Nightingale did ever chaunt More welcome notes to weary bands Of travellers in some shady haunt, Among Arabian sands: A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird, Breaking the silence of the seas Among the farthest Hebrides.
Will no one tell me what she sings?-- Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow For old, unhappy, far-off things, And battles long ago: Or is it some more humble lay, Familiar matter of to-day? Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, That has been, and may be again?
Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang As if her song could have no ending; I saw her singing at her work, And o'er the sickle bending;-- I listened, motionless and still; And, as I mounted up the hill, The music in my heart I bore, Long after it was heard no more
The Solitary Reaper From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The Solitary Reaper is a poem by William Wordsworth in which the poet recounts his tale of meeting with a girl, reaping in the fields alone. William Wordsworth In this poem, the poet William Wordsworth describes and exemplifies a once in a lifetime kind of memory that is meant to be taken out of the vaults of memory and savoured forever.
The poet sees a 'highland lass' (a girl who lives in highland) reaping the crop and singing while she does so. She is all alone in the field and is cutting and binding the grains accompanied by her melancholy and gloomy song. The maiden's song is so euphonious and overwhelming that it is overflowing the valley.
The poet compares the song of the girl with a song of a nightingale, soothing his sorrows and easing his weariness just in the same way as the nightingale welcomes the weary travelers in the shady oasis in the Arabian sands. It is also compared to the song of a cuckoo bird, which is harbinger of summer and bringer of happiness. The song of the maiden is as thrilling and persuasive as the song of the cuckoo bird which is effective enough to break the silence of the seas.
The poet cannot understand the dialect of the song, so, he is unable to comprehend its meaning, but is able to gauge from its sad tone that it probably relates to some unhappy memory or some battles fought long ago. The poet also feels that the song may be about the commonplace and unanimous things like sorrow, loss or pain.
The poet felt that the girl's song had no end and would endure forever. The poet saw the girl singing as the sickle bent over. The song was so mesmerizing and spellbinding that it held the poet motionless and still. As the poet monted over the hill, the song could not be heard but it left an indelible impression on the poet's heart. For the poet, it always remained to be a fresh and evocative memory.
Wordsworth's preface to the 'lyrical ballads' argues that poetry contains a natural delineation of human passions, human characters, and human incidents and that it ought not be judged by the presence of artificial, poetic diction. Rather, the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society can be its medium. The Solitary Reaper exemplifies these beliefs
Who is the solitary reaper? What is she doing? What is the theme of her song? The song of the girl is compared to---- What are the possibilities about the theme of the song?
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