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The solitary reaper by William Wordsworth; Romantic Gods grandeur by Hopkins; Victorian Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson Essay


The Solitary Reaper by William Wordsworth

Element of content

About the writer and which school he belongs to

William Wordsworth is the author of the Ballard “The Solitary Reaper”. The author is a romantic English writer and in this poem, he successfully describes his amazement at the song of a highlands Scottish girl in a solitary field as she reaps grain. He merely made guesses of the meanings of the words the girl sung and decided not to look at its theme leaving him to make guesses of the meanings and themes of the tale in the girls’ song.

Paraphrase of the poem

The poem is about a highland girl reaping grain in the fields and as she sings a song, it captivates the attention of a passerby. The bewitching of the song is in its notes and tones leaving the listener engrossed in the endless song whose words he can only imagine.

Themes in the poem

The main theme in the poem is romanticism. It is in the beauty of the song that the beauty of the girls voice forms the presentation of the melancholic presentation of imaginations left on the listener and transferred to the audience of the poem. In the last stanza, there is evidence of the impact that the singing had on the writer as he maintains that regardless of the time duration that passed by, he could still hear the words and melodies of the singing girl. “The music in my heart I bore, long after it was heard no more”.

There is the use of the influences nature can have on people manifesting its influences in the human mind. It eludes the production of passionate emotions helping individuals to connect social and spiritual worlds with the people spending time in nature like farmers having the chance of maintaining the nobility of natural beauty. The other theme is in the power of the human mind since it is through the memories he has about the singing girl that he manages to write his poem.

It is through the apprehension of the tone of the song that the writer assumes that sad tune of the song means that it could be about a painful historical past such as battles fought from long time. It is also presumable about past sorrows and incidents that do commonplace in everyday life making the song easy to relate with despite his not understand the words.

The tone of the writer in the poem

The poet is happy about the singing of the girl such as when he says,”The music in my heart I bore/Long after it was heard no more.” However, his disappointment is in the fact that he cannot understand her words because the girl sung in the local Gaelic Scottish dialect.

Nonetheless, the poet is happy in the line when he describes the effect of the song in him claiming that it was a permanent source of joy. He had the feeling right from the moment he heard the girl singing in the fields and had to stop to listen to her. He enjoys the sweet voice, which he describes to be sweeter than that of the nightingale.

2- Elements of form

The poet places the poem in a rustic context adorned by natural settings established through the song of a rustic girl all alone in the fields reaping grains. It is in a simple structure, with the first stanza being a setting of the scene and the second stanza introducing a bird companion for musical introduction.

The third stanza details the songs content while the fourth stanza is a description of the effects the song has on the speaker. The final lines of the poem reinforce the power of the mind creating soothing effects of memories and human thoughts.

The poets’ choice of words makes the poem outstanding in the presentation of the song sung by the girl in the fields. He uses the words ‘solitary’, ‘alone’ and ‘single’ on the foreground. By using the word ‘single’, he implies that the girl was alone in the fields.

The word ‘solitary’ expresses the melancholic mood of the poem while the use of ‘alone’ is a reference to the fact that the girl is on her own without assistance from anyone as she works in the fields. In the poem, there is use of two forms of images. There are word pictures used to describe the refreshing melodies of the song sung by “the solitary reaper”

The author uses iambic tetrameter and employs a-b-a-b-c-c-d-d as his rhyme scheme. However, the rhyme “A” is off in the first stanza, but there is a keen focus on the tone of the poem. This is regardless of the fact that the poet is incapable of comprehending the words of the singing girl leaving him to focus on the beauty of the blissful mood created in him. There is spontaneous flow of emotion coupled with expression of praise of beauty.

In the use of alliteration in the poem, the poet uses ‘plaintive’ and ‘perhaps’ to conjure that the song is painful and about the things of the past such as in the place that says “old and unhappy far off things”, (line 22). He remarks that the song has some connection to a historical painful past though he later wonders if the song is merely an association to a solitary daily life of the reaper.

The poet successfully expresses his idea of the painful stories of the finite phenomena guided by imagination. It leads to a successful perception about the boundless eternal melodies of language, which can express and affect the emotions of a listener producing sticking musical expressions of humanity.

Romantic Gods grandeur by Hopkins

Element of content

The writer and which school he belongs to

The poem ‘God’s Grandeur’ is a traditional poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins written in the romantic era. It focuses on the changes, which need to take place and away from them in the places, which have not faced the misery in the world. In the poem, Hopkins makes an expression of his feelings regarding the wretchedness of man in comparison to the beauty of nature.

Paraphrase the poem

In the poem ‘God’s Grandeur’ by Gerard Manley Hopkins, there is the use of Biblical presentation of typological allusions defining the idea of the love of God to humankind and the destruction of nature because of industrial activities of trade. There is the expression of divinity and the insight of change as an enticement of improvement of the turmoil of life. There is translation of spiritual devotion through the presentation of the relationship between the natural world and human nature through the guidance and protection of God.

The themes in the poem

The themes in the poem are such as the exploration of the relationship of man and the natural world. There is a deep look at the natural world in the poem, ‘God is Grandeur’, with the expression of the almighty nature of God, who does not hold his contempt against people, because they keep destroying nature through industrial activities.

However, Hopkins claim about this treatment lies on the surface with the exploration of a renewal idea cutting across the damages of the earth and of the hearts of people. He feels that the damage on the earth is reparable and explains it through his presentation of the process of renewal.

The other theme is on life, consciousness and existence and in these; there is the exploration of the meaning of life and existence through the protection and appreciation of nature. This produces intense joy and anxiety with the poem being very serious about the destructiveness of life creating a different perspective for considering existence in a consciousness about nature. There is also a deep exploration of religion with the speaker talking about religious beliefs.

The tone of the writer in the poem

The poet is not happy about the activities of man about the destruction of the earth and human soul. The disappointment the poet has in the destructive nature of man is concerning the reasons why people keep destroying the earth in claims of trade. He is not happy about the sacrificing of nature and that is his reason for the emphasis on the possibilities of renewal.

These are disappointing points for the writer and he is clear about the fact that there is no true happiness for man as long as there is continued damage of the earth. The only joy the writer has is on the possibility of renewal and rescue of nature other that the compelling destruction in the search of means for meeting of needs. This situation leaves the speaker wondering why there is so much turmoil when options for making a difference remain so close.

Elements of form

The writer uses an exotic language, which moves the reader through the fascinations of a religious journey and creates a consciousness of the relationship of nature and the existence of humankind. The poet uses repetition to present his opinions such as in the repetition of the word ‘trod’. He simply implies that the problems faced on the earth are basically on its surface.

He rhetorically presents hope in the poem showing that the changes people need are right in their reach though they choose alternatives, which only lead to their destruction and the destruction of nature. He combines concrete phrases with words such as ‘freshness’ and ‘dearest’ for the creation of beautiful imagery about the coolness of underground springs, little seedlings coming out of the ground. Further, the use of the ‘west’ for the setting of the sun is in context to the direction where the sunsets.

Ametonimy presents a clear knowledge about sunset. In line 11, there is the personification of the word ‘morning’ saying by talking about its jumping and running across the sky. That is metaphorical for clarity in the mind and hope in life since morning comes with new shade of light.

The poem uses distinct rhyme schemes, similes and language for the proposition of the views held about the world. It uses traditional the structure of traditional petrachan sonnet in the poem through employment of an octave and a sestet, which aids him in the display of two distinct views of the world.

In the first quatrain, Hopkins shows his idea of the God being present. He uses the second quatrain to shows the manner in which the humankind has rejected and destroyed nature with all the beauty it creates. This elements create pressure within the poem.

Hopkins relieves it by introduction of a volta, shifting the argumentative direction between the sestet and the octave. Within the sestet, Hopkins argues that despite the humankind being rebellious, God has not abandoned them and the earth. ‘And for all this nature is never spent’. In the sestet, the creation of renewal and hope is shown with the display of God as one who takes care of the fallen world in need of redemption and protection.

This needs to take place in areas that have seen no misery and away from the nature of man in areas that are still clear of the miseries of the world. God takes care of man in a manner similar to a maturing mother feeding its child from the breasts and, thus, offers full protection regardless of human detachment from nature. The poem is full of alliteration creating a melodic repetition of consonants like in use of ‘Grandeur of Gog’, ‘Shining from Shook’ and ‘lasting lights’ among others.

Victorian Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Element of content

About the writer and which school he belongs to

Victorian Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson creates an ironic tension for the presentation of romantic heroism. The poem grants the power presented by features like physical weaknesses and age. It portrays denial of situations and forces that catch the lives of people despite clear knowledge of the situations. The poem is a blank verse illustrating the form of dramatic monologue.

Paraphrase of the poem

This is a poem about a man without the faith for the preservation of order within his kingdom and in his own life. He sees no necessity for the guidance of the gods and through the monologue in the poem; no quest exists to pressure him into a change of opinion.

It is relatively indulgent in fantasy about the possible existence of his mariners in some sort of a dream and the desire for escaping from the present environment. The presentation takes place in the deathbed of Ulysses and he gets the chance for staying in the company of his dead sailors and accepting his final fear of death.

The themes in the poem

In the poem, the separation of the existence of an individual and communal values seem to be the onset of true existence. The primitive self denies the need for communal existence and starts focusing on self, leaving out associated values of order, unity and harmony.

This leads to decline in the need for family, love and nation, which are treated as ‘little profits’ leading to the need for corrective measures to uphold social and moral values, “Love and all other mere externals are flattened and reduced to insignificance. The affirmations are all on the surface” (line 43 & 44).

The tone of the writer in the poem

The tone of the writer is an expansive and positive one presenting a rhetorical breather presenting life as a hunger for flattering needs to the real requirements for existence. The write expresses the power of the ego, “I have enjoyed / Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those / That loved me, and alone” (line 6-32). The thoughts of the writer are muddled and that displays an inconsistency in the structure of the poem probably because of his personal; bewilderment from the extreme desires of death and life.

There is complexity in the nature of the writer that pours out through the lines of the poem showing the disappointment in the failure of learning some lessons in life just as in the case of Ulysses and the eventual suffering of the consequences. In these lines, he is expressly disappointed by the circumstances he has gone through despite his heroic past, “Life piled on life / Were all too little, and of one to me / Little remains” (line 24–26).

2- Elements of form

The strategy used in the poem attacks the presented ironic dualism for the magnification of isolations of individual ego. There are extremes in the desires presenting the need for striking the extreme ends of needs such as the presentation of equality of the desire of life and that of the desire of death. There is a presentation of the demands of social constructs, and the need for social acceptance within the society, which offers substitutes.

In the opening lines, there is scorn of the social world confidently patronizing the life of people though they are inferior and not deserving of significant attention. There is focus on the heroic self with no consideration of the positions of others and only focus on self, “He works his work, I mine” (l. 43). The language used describes the attainment of elevations of Ulysses and an affirmation of his triumphant ego.

This can be seen through the fellowship of the mariners and at this point, there is rhetoric inclusion of readers into the plans of eloquent persuasion used to sway others as proven in the display of pride. This leads to the reminder of humankind and his identification with self. This self-assurance is rhetoric with individuals becoming masters of their own situations enjoying the exhilarating forms of loneliness and triumphant egos through use of alerting language within the poem.

There is restlessness in the poem presented by the speech used to describe the return of the king to Ithaca and it shows the discontent in the experiences of the travels. This is something that does not leave his desire for more traveling settled because of his undying desire for more knowledge beyond human reach. The consolation of domestic life is not enough to give him joy in the kingdom ‘savage race’ (line 4), where he serves and his only desire remains in the heroic past he adores.

In his search for continuity, the speaker starts using forceful and unadorned language in order to show the conflicts in the moods traversing between the past and the present situations of life. The contrast is used in the words and their sounds used by Ulysses. For instance, there is a persistent use of iambic pentameter through interruptions of spondees of long syllable slowing down the movements within the poem.

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IvyPanda. (2018) 'The solitary reaper by William Wordsworth; Romantic Gods grandeur by Hopkins; Victorian Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson'. 15 December.

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