She Dwelt Among Untrodden Ways - William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was born on 7th April 1770 and died in 1850. He is a Romantic poet. He is a nature worshiper and a nature painter. He was a major figure in the Romantic Movement. According to Wordsworth
· Spoken language is good for poetry
· Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origins from emotions recollected in tranquility.
· Man is inseparable from nature. He is the highest product of nature.
Nature figures prominently in many of his poems. Through hi nature poetry he focused the eyes of the people towards the beauty of the nature. Nature can be presented the beauty of nature as a source of joy, a teacher, a comforter, a vision and as a divine presence.
“I love wood, mountains with almost a visionary fondness and because I have found benevolence and quietness running within me as that fondness increases. Therefore I should wish to be means of implanting it in others” –Wordsworth –
The poem She Dwelt among Untrodden Ways is a short piece from Wordsworth’s Lucy poems. The poem deals about a girl named Lucy. The first stanza presents the girl as lonely, isolated character associated by very few people. It is presented the girl as an exceptional character. Her purity is shown through the words ‘spring of Dove’, ‘maid’. Furthermore the word ‘spring’ indicates a mouth of a river, so it can add the idea of remoteness too.
In the second stanza the poet brings out simple ordinary images which are more appropriate to describe a character of a maid. Through a metaphor the poet sees the girl as a ‘violet’ that covered with ‘mossy stone.’ Normally a violet blooms within bed of leaves and it is hard to recognize with the leaves. The poet highlights the girl’s hiddeness, simplicity and modesty more by saying that the violet is covered with ‘mossy stones’ too. So it adds more to her loneliness and isolation. Again the poet uses a simile to enhance the loneliness of the girl. It shows the unseen and unnoticed beauty of the girl. The girl is compared to a star. As it is mentioned as a single star that appears it highlights the brightness of the girl. In brief we can take among cluster of green leaves she is a blue violet that covers and again in the blue sky she is the only star that shines bright. So it is clearly evident her uniqueness, rareness and her simplicity.
In the last stanza too the writer continues her as unknown character. From the beginning to the end we see Lucy as a gift/ product of nature. At the end even about the loss of the girl we are informed not as a death but as ‘ceased’. At the same time we see the writer’s lamentation over that. The expression ‘Oh!’ is an emotional reaction at the plight of the girl and it was an untimely death. As the girl represents the unspoiled nature, modesty, integrity her death can represent the loss of nature. Lucy is nature, loss of her life is loss of nature and changeability is a major characteristic of nature.
She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
-Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!