Tintern Abbey

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Questions and answers following the new pattern for SLST 2016 will be given here soon. Please be connected with us at Facebook

1. What is the full title of the poem Tintern Abbey?
2. What does Wordsworth mean by “a soft inland murmur”?
ANS: Wodrsworth here refers to the soft murmuring sound of the river Wye. The river emerges from the mountains and flows through plain lands.

3. “Five years have past…winters.”(Lines 1-4) Why does Wordsworth here “five…. winters” here?
OR, How many years have elapsed between Wordsworth’s last visit and the present one?
ANS: At the beginning of the poem Tintern Abbey Wordsworth speaks of the years that elapsed between his last and present visit to the Way. Now he finds that there is a great difference between the two experiences.

4. *“Once again…the quiet of the sky.” (4-8) What does W mean by “thoughts of more seclusion” OR, What does W mean by “the quiet of the sky”?
ANS: At the beginning of the poem Tintern Abbey Wordsworth finds that in his present visit to the Wye after five years the landscape appears different to his eyes. Now, the high cliffs, covered with vegetation, on both sides of the river give him a sense of wildness of the place and of tranquillity all around him. As he looks ahead, the landscape seems to merge gently with the quiet sky. He experiences the feeling that the loneliness is deepened by the overhanging silence of the sky, which remains in perfect harmony with the horizon below.

5. *“With some uncertain notice…The Hermit sits alone.” (Lines 20-22) Explain the situation imagined by Wordsworth.
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth looks on the Wye landscape and tallies it with that of his last experience in the poem Tintern Abbey, he finds coils of smoke arising from somewhere out of the trees. This makes him imagine that either some vagabonds have come to stay there temporarily, or there lives a hermit who sits alone in his cave.

6. **“These beauteous forms…a blind man’s eye.” (23-25) What are referred to here as “beauteous forms”? Explain the phrase “a landscape to a blind man’s eye”?
ANS: By “beauteous forms” Wordsworth refers to the beautiful scenes of the Wye landscape—the green cottage grounds, the green orchards overloaded with fruits, the hedgerows spread along the farms, the coils of smoke rising from somewhere, either out of the temporary camps of some vagabonds under the trees or out of the fire made by some lonely hermit. He says that though he had been physically absent from the place for five years, the landscape had been very much present in his mind. He compares his state to that of a blind man: unlike a blind man he could remember the landscape vividly.

7. **“But oft, in lonely rooms…. Felt along the heart.” (26-29) What does the poet mean by “sensations sweet”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he recalls that, whenever he felt exhausted at the cacophonies of town and city life, the memory of the beautiful scenes of the landscape provided him with solace of soothing sensations, which he felt in his blood, heart and finally in mind.

8. “As have no slight or trivial influence… acts/Of kindness and of love.” (31-36) What does Wodrsworth want to mean here?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he recalls that the beautiful scenes of the landscape provided him not only with relief of soothing sensations, which he felt in his blood, heart and finally in mind, but it also exerted an unconscious influence on him by inspiring him to acts of kindness and love.

9. **“To them I may have owed another gift…We see into life of things” (37-50) What is the referred to here as “another gift”?
OR, ** What is the gift referred to here?
OR, **What does W mean here by “blessed mood”?
OR, What does W mean by “the burthen of the mystery”?
OR, What does W mean by “that serene and blessed mood”?
OR, *What does W mean by ‘affections” here?
OR, What is the state in which W thinks, “the breath of this corporal frame…Almost suspended…living soul…the life of things”?
OR, **What does W mean by “We see into the life of things”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he recalls how the beautiful scenes of the landscape provided him not only with relief of soothing sensations, but also created in his mind a mood, which was divine. At that mood he felt that all the insoluble questions regarding life and the world were resolved as all mellow and tender feelings like love, faith, compassion, devotion and piety went on to suspend his breathing and even the movement of his blood. He experienced a dreamlike condition induced by those feelings; he understood that his existence was in perfect harmony with Nature. Wordsworth thinks at that particular moment the functions of our outer eyes are suspended; our inner eyes come into action and we can understand the reality of the physical things around us.

10. * “If this be …turned to thee.” What does W refer to as “a vain belief”?
What does he mean by “many shapes/Of joyless delight”?
OR, What does he mean by “fretful stir/Unprofitable, and the fever of the world”?
OR, Why does he address the Wye as ‘sylvan’?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he recalls how the memories of the landscape provided him not only with relief of soothing sensations, but also created in his mind a mood, which was divine. He emphasises that this cannot be a ‘vain’, that is, false belief since those gave him much needed relief whenever he went through depressed states of the mind. Whenever he became burdened with unhealthy thoughts and anxieties, common to human beings, he turned to the memories of the Wye, which runs through the wild woods and cliffs and has a kind of sylvan identity about her.

11. **“And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought…the picture of the mind revives again”(59-62) What does W refer to as “gleams of half-extinguished thought”?
What does W mean by “picture of the mind”?
OR, Why does he call the ‘recognitions’ “dim and faint”?
OR, What does Wordsworth mean by “sad perplexity” in the poem TA?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, the picture of the landscape, preserved in his mind during his previous visits, comes back to him as if in kaleidoscopic flashes. Though he cannot recapitulate his past experience fully, he seems to capture it in the presence of the original landscape that acts as a kind of mirror to his mind. (Wordsworth here refers to his memory of the landscape preserved in his mind as “picture of the mind”). (Here Wordsworth calls his past ‘recognition’, that is, past experience “dim and faint”.) (But Wordsworth is puzzled by the fact that the present experience does not fully tally his previous ones. An aspect of change in the landscape makes him both perplexed and sad.)

12. What does W mean by “life and food/ For future years”(ll. 65)

13. “…And so I dare to hope… Wherever nature led”(ll. 66-71) Explain how W feel during this period?
OR, **“The coarser pleasure of my boyish days…gone by.” What does W mean by “the coarser pleasure of my boyish days”?
OR, What does W mean by “animal movements”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he understands that, as he has grown in years the appeal of the landscape has changed considerably over the years from what it had been during his first visit. At that time as a mere boy, his delight in the lap of Nature was coarse and animalistic in the sense that his enjoyment of the natural beauties was instinctual and grossly physical. Like a young deer he jumped up and down the valley and the riversides; he now feels that at that time as if he was led by Nature herself.

14. **“…more like a man…the thing he loved.” (71-73) Explain the poet’s experience during the period.
OR, **“The sounding cataract/ Haunted me like a passion.” What does W mean here?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he remembers how he would enjoy the beauties of the Wye landscape during his second visit in 1793. Then his enjoyment of nature had been purely emotional and sensuous. He would seek only the gratifications of the senses in his search for the natural objects like the sounding waterfall, the high rock, the mountain, the mysterious forest. It seems to him now that in his excitement he was running away from something present in Nature rather than seeking that in love.

15. *“…the tall rock…Their colours and forms, were then to me/ An appetite; a feeling and a love” (78-81) What does W mean by “an appetite”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he remembers how he would enjoy the beauties of the Wye landscape during his second visit in 1793. Then his enjoyment of nature had been purely emotional and sensuous. He would seek only the gratifications of the senses in his search for the natural objects like the sounding waterfall, the high rock, the mountain, the mysterious forest. He would love those natural objects passionately as someone seeks the objects of his appetite, that is, desire.

16. “That had no need of a remoter charm…Unborrowed from the eye.” What does W mean by “remoter charm”? **Why does W use the phrase “unborrowed from the eye”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he remembers how he would enjoy the beauties of the Wye landscape during his second visit in 1793. Then his enjoyment of nature had been purely emotional and sensuous. He had not been conscious of the fact that pleasures of the sights and sounds of nature can be obtained through contemplation even being absent from the actual landscape. He would seek only the gratifications of his eyes in his search for the natural objects like the sounding waterfall, the high rock, the mountain and the mysterious forest.

17. **“That time is past…And all its dizzy raptures.” (84-85) What time is referred to here? What does W mean by “aching joys” and “dizzy raptures”

18. “Not for this…other gifts have followed…Abundant recompense…A presence…rolls through all things.”(ll. 86–103)***What are the ‘gifts’ referred to here?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he understands that the appeal of the landscape has changed considerably in the lapse of five years from what it had been during his second visit as a young man. He does not feel ecstatic at the sight of Wye landscape. But he does neither mourn nor complain of the loss. He comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is moved to higher thoughts by its presence in every inanimate and animate thing. He refers to these as “other gifts” of Nature.

19. *What does W mean by “thoughtless youth”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he understands that the appeal of the landscape has changed considerably in the lapse of five years from what it had been during his second visit as a young man. He does not feel ecstatic at the sight of Wye landscape. But he does neither mourn nor complain of the loss, because he feels now that during his youth he enjoyed Nature without the realisation that Nature does have a benevolent influence on man.

20. ***What does W mean by “The still, sad music of humanity”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he understands that the appeal of the landscape has changed considerably in the lapse of five years from what it had been during his second visit as a young man. He does not feel ecstatic at the sight of Wye landscape. But he does neither mourn nor complain of the loss. He is now happy to find that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He understands that the suffering and sorrows of mankind find an echo in the solemn order of Nature. He is also satisfied to find that Nature possesses enough power to purify and soothe the excited or suffering human mind.

21. *What does W mean by “Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power”?
ANS: Now in his present visit while Wordsworth, standing on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, looks on the landscape, he understands that the appeal of the landscape has changed considerably in the lapse of five years from what it had been during his second visit as a young man. But he does neither mourn nor complain of the loss. He is now happy to find that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He understands that the suffering and sorrows of mankind are in harmony with the solemn order of Nature. Those are not in cacophonic relationship with Nature.

22. *What does W mean by “a sense sublime”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is moved to higher thoughts by its presence in every inanimate and animate thing.

23. ***Whose ‘dwelling’ is referred to here?
OR, What does W refer to as “A motion and a spirit”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is moved to higher thoughts by its presence in every inanimate and animate thing—in the light of the setting sun, in the ocean, in the fresh air, in the blue sky and in the human mind. He thinks that this Divine Being is the prime mover of all the animate and inanimate objects in the universe. He calls this Being “a motion and a spirit.”

24. “Therefore I am still …of my moral being”(103–112)
**What makes W declare, “Therefore am I still/ A lover of the meadows and woods”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He realises now that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is moved to higher thoughts by its presence in every inanimate and animate thing—in the light of the setting sun, in the ocean, in the fresh air, in the blue sky and in the human mind. That is why he firmly declares that he still remains a lover of the beautiful of Wye landscape and of the world of Nature.

25. ***What does W mean by “the mighty world/ Of eye, and ear”? (ll.106–107)
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He realises now that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. That is why he firmly declares that he still remains a lover of the beautiful of Wye landscape and of the world of Nature. He is satisfied with power of his senses—eye and ear, which, though unable to capture Nature fully, can recreate this spiritual pattern of the universe in imagination.

26. * What does W mean by “language of the sense”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He realises now that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is satisfied with power of his senses—eye and ear, which, though unable to capture Nature fully, can recreate this spiritual pattern of the universe in imagination. In this the senses become the medium, through which the realisation of the deeper significance of Nature can be understood.

27. **What does Wordsworth refer to as “the anchor of my purest thoughts”?
OR, What does W refer to as “The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul/ Of my moral being”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding. He realises now that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. He is satisfied with the power of his senses—eye and ear, which, though unable to capture Nature fully, can recreate this spiritual pattern of the universe in imagination. He is delighted to find that man can remain in perfect harmony with Nature. In this harmony he finds the support for his lofty ideas, the cherisher and guide and protector of his true feelings, and finally it seems to him that his soul has become a part of the harmony, thereby influencing his ethical and moral decisions.

28. “If I were not thus taught…Of thy wild eyes…dear sister.”(114–122) What does W mean by “genial spirits to decay”?
OR, Whom does W address here as “my dearest friend”?
OR, How can he catch “the language of my former heart”?
ANS: Towards the end of his meditation on the bank of the Wye in the poem, TA, Wordsworth comes to the conclusion that his sensuous ecstasies have been replaced by a philosophical understanding that Nature possesses enough power to mitigate the suffering and sorrows of mankind and by an awareness of the presence of some mysterious Divine Being in everything. In the final section of the poem TA, Wordsworth turns to his sister and addresses her as ”my dearest friend”. He declares that if he had not realised that man can remain blissfully by remaining in harmonious relationship with Nature, if he had not found in Nature the support for his lofty ideas, the cherisher and guide and protector of his true feelings and a part of his soul, he would not have been able to enjoy natural sights and sounds cheerfully. In that case, he would have to face melancholia.

29. “…this prayer I make…Is full of blessings.”
30. “Therefore let the moon…For al thy sweet memories…”About whom is all this said and why?
31. “…wilt thou then forget…We stood together.”(150–151)
32. What does W mean by “holier love”?
33. Why does W refer to the Wye as “sylvan”?
(Write the unanswered questions yourself and send to me.)

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