Updated: May 6, 2020
The full title of this poem is:
Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798.
Can recollecting your past be done improperly? Is it an infallible process? If it is not infallible, what should we do about it? These are some of the themes we will see in Tintern Abbey by Wordsworth.
This blog post is dedicated to an audio/visual exploration of this great poem. I hope that it will serve as a useful guide and resource to understanding and gaining insights from this poem of reflection.
Above I have included a video and audio podcast to help you gain insights from this poem. The audio podcast can be found on iTunes, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts. The video can be found on Youtube or Facebook and it is embedded above.
For the Youtube video here are links to timestamped parts of the video:
My reading of the poem Tintern Abbey (40 minutes)
Here is the poem in its entirety. Beneath the full poem I've included my breakdown of the poem that I used for the podcast episode. I recommend you read the poem on your own at least once before going through my notes.
Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798
By William Wordsworth
Five years have past; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur.—Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.
These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind
With tranquil restoration:—feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered, acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,