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Wordsworth and Muir

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Abageal Roland

on 22 May 2014

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Transcript of Wordsworth and Muir

Wordsworth and Muir
John Muir had a strong and seemingly religious relationship with nature. In his essay piece, the Calypso Borealis, he reveals his bond with nature with reckless abandon; he shares his powerful and moving experience of his encounter with the flower. He also expresses his relationship with nature, and more specifically this particular flower; when he speaks about the beauty of it, and the relief that seeing the flower brought to him left him in tears as he “fairly cried for joy.” He thought that all hope was lost for him, and then the Calypso Borealis restored faith in himself, as well as his faith in the powers of nature. This brings the reader to infer that his relationship was one that he held in high respect. Not only can that excerpt be an indicator of his connection with nature, but also these words: “It seems wonderful that so frail and lovely a plant has such power over human hearts.” This shows that his mental capacity for nature grew through less of a cognitive process, and more through a spiritual process. The reader can deduct this because the power that he describes the plant having, only seems relatable to that of a spiritual relationship over a person. Just like a person prays to their god, and time seems to pass them by, he had forgotten how long he spent sitting with this flower he found. His humanly needs also passed- “Hunger and weariness vanished, and only after the sun was low in the west I splashed on through the swamp, strong and exhilarated as if never more to feel any mortal care.” Not only can inference help understand Muir’s relationship with nature, but simply reading through the essay can make a constellation. He explains quite clearly at the end of his writing; “With one of these large backwoods loaves I was able to wander many a long wild fertile mile in the forests and bogs, free as the winds, gathering plants, and glorying in God's abounding inexhaustible spiritual beauty bread.”
John Muir
-Muir-
The Calypso Borealis as described in John Muir's,
The Calypso Borealis.
-Wordsworth-
Daffodils as described in William Wordsworth's, "I Wandered as Lonely as a Cloud."
William Wordsworth
In the poem, “I Wandered as Lonely as a Cloud,” William Wordsworth beautifully illustrates his relationship with nature through his use of personification as well as similes. Although, his poem is a bit harder to analyze for this sort of thing, seeing as how his reflection is shorter and by default, harder to tell his relationship, he still depicts his emotions quite successfully. He expresses his emotional relationship with nature in a light and free way, without much reluctance for a treacherous experience to recover from. He uses phrases that could be taken with a positive or negative connotation which makes you wonder how he felt about the daffodils he speaks of; “I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and hills, when all at once I saw a crowd, a host, of golden daffodils.”
He then shows that his relationship with nature is optimistic, and a one sided relationship for all poets in general, “A poet could not but be gay, in such a jocund company.” Following this, he recalls his troubling times, and proclaims the mental state that remembering good times can put you in, which reveals that the bond that he has with nature is blissful, and trusting, and not one that he will soon lose; he loves being with the daffodils, and feels blessed with what enrichment nature has given him. Overall, although the connection cannot really be labeled as anything specific, I believe Wordsworth’s relationship with nature is like that of a close friend who reminds you to dream, and is there to pick you up when you are sad.

What were their relationships with nature?

The End
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