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Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known WORDSWORTH
Transcript of Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known WORDSWORTH
hat fond and
Into a lover’s h
‘O mercy!’ to myself I cr
‘If Lucy should be
Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known
And I will dare to tell,
But in the lover’s ear
What once to me befell.
Fresh as a rose in J
I to her cottage bent my w
Beneath an evening m
I fix’d my
With quickening pace my horse drew
Those paths so dear to
climb’d the hill,
near and nearer still.
In one of those sweet dreams I sl
Kind Nature’s gentlest boon!
And all the while my eyes I k
On the descending
My horse moved on; h
f after h
He raised, and never sto
When down behind the cottage r
At once, the bright moon dro
meaning: to happen as by fate
Who is the "lover" (male/female?)
Why the secrecy?
+ dramatic tone
I have experienced love
I will not tell anyone,
Except my lover
What I once experienced
The speaker has experienced "short fits of passion" which once can conclude to be the effect of "being in love". The speaker is an introvert; as they will not reveal the secret to anyone except his/her lover. At this point, the poem is introduced dramatically.
Everyday she looked
Strong and alive like a fresh flower in June,
I made my way to her cottage
The speaker now talks about his lover in her livelihood and her beauty. Through a simile he describes her as a fresh flower; strong, rigid, fresh. A rose itself is the symbol of love and passion, and it is therefore interesting to note that Wordsworth utilized nature to explain the complexity of the "fits" experienced by the speaker. The setting: night is revealed.
Homophones (spelt differently sound the same.)
Symbol + repeated
in stanza 2
Anxious tone + repetition
The speaker now talks about his journey towards his lover's abode. He speaks tenderly of his surroundings, especially the moon. The moon acts as a light that guides the speaker. However, the speaker's constant gaze towards the moon indicates uneasiness.
I looked at the moon
As I traveled through the grassland
My horse traveled on with a fast pace
Across the paths that are precious to me
The speaker uses light imagery to describe the setting around him to explain the emotions he is going through. The name of his lover is revealed in the 15th verse. Ironically, just as the moon is illuminating the pathway the speaker travels on, Lucy illuminates his mind and heart. The speaker's anxiety returns as he observes the sinking moon.
We reached the orchard plots
As we climbed across the hill
The moon that led to Lucy's home
Began to disappear
onomatopoeia: trotting horse
The horse's trotting is described, as it continues to move
towards Lucy's house. The speaker's observations act as distractions; because there is something that is causing his anxiety. The moon's disappearance is clarified as the cause of anxiety, and a tone shift occurs to morbid, when the speaker states: "At once, the bright moon dropped"
My horse rode hoof after hoof
It never stopped;
Whilst right behind Lucy's cottage
The moon had dropped.
The speaker goes into a state of panic after the moon drops. His mind races with thoughts of negativity; thoughts that only seem to flow within the minds of lovers. The speaker cries to himself, in shock, and worries that Lucy, his luminescent light, might be gone too.
Negative thoughts passed my mind
Into my infatuated head
O Lord! I cried to myself
What if Lucy's dead!
The speaker discusses his dream-like, and infatuated state of mind, as he keeps his eyes focused on the moon. The moon is his only thing keeping him focused.
I slept in sweet dreams
And thought of Nature's blessings
All the while I kept my eyes
On the descending moon
My personal reaction to this poem was that it encompassed the simplicity of love through nature. For someone who is inexperienced in the matter (love), and seemingly young it is interesting to note that the complexity of a term that is oftentimes thrown into sentences to convey affection or trust could be simplified. Reading the title of the poem, I expected to be thrown off by descriptions of the speaker and his lover, instead I was delighted by the simplicity of Wordsworth’s romantic theme, structure and verse. The poem is not infused with complex dimensions that cloud my judgement on what the speaker is trying to explain, instead this poem was like looking through a clear glass window at a man riding on a horse en route to his lover. The end of the poem is essentially tragic: as the lover dies. The journey of the poem, and it’s ephemeral tone illustrate the influence of naturally occurring elements within our world.
The cliffhanger at the end of the poem did spark a bit of confusion though: is Lucy really dead?