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"Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known" Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Wordsworth Type: Poetry Views: 2864

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Strange fits of passion have I known:

And I will dare to tell,

But in the lover's ear alone,

What once to me befell.

When she I loved looked every day

Fresh as a rose in June,

I to her cottage bent my way,

Beneath an evening-moon.

Upon the moon I fixed my eye,

All over the wide lea;

With quickening pace my horse drew nigh

Those paths so dear to me.

And now we reached the orchard-plot;

And, as we climbed the hill,

The sinking moon to Lucy's cot

Came near, and nearer still.

In one of those sweet dreams I slept,

Kind Nature's gentlest boon!

And all the while my eye I kept

On the descending moon.

My horse moved on; hoof after hoof

He raised, and never stopped:

When down behind the cottage roof,

At once, the bright moon dropped.

What fond and wayward thoughts will slide

Into a Lover's head!

"O mercy!" to myself I cried,

"If Lucy hould be dead!"


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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\'Strange fits of Passion\' is a Poem that revolves around the fantasy of the narrator\'s object of affections,lucy\'s, death. It describes the narrators journey to Lucy\'s cottage and his thoughts along the way. Throughout, the movement of the moon is parallel to Lucy\'s decent from health to sickness. It is also in opposition to the motion of the speaker. There is a constant shift in perspective and mood which suggests conflicting emotions. This is show again with aggressive phrases like \'fits of passion\' and \'dare to still\'in the first paragraph, and more subdued and quiet phrases in the rest of the poem.
The presence of death is felt throughout the poem, as the moon which is a symbol of the beloved, sinks lower and lower and finally drops completely.
Death is only explicitly mentioned at the end of the poem.
By the fifth stanza the poet is almost lulled into a kind of trance by the hypnotic movement of the moon.
When the moon suddenly drops, the poet snaps out of this trance and his thoughts drift towards death.
Lucy is united with the landscape in death and the image of the retreating, entrancing moon, is used to portray the idea of looking beyond one\'s lover.

| Posted on 2012-08-13 | by a guest

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movement of the moon shows transcience of life and of all things in the world. the poet wonders at the sight of the disappearing moon that he may even lose his beloved. Here moon becomes a symbol of Lucy. As long as the moon was at its zenith the poet was believing that Lucy is also as beautiful.

| Posted on 2011-11-13 | by a guest

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The speaker of this poem asks the reader to become a lover. If the reader obliges, then they can go with him on the journey he is about to relive. His strange fits of passion are what he experiences on this journey, and occur due the irrational thinking of love on the speaker\'s part, which explains why he insists that the reader is a lover. He recalls on his journey keeping his eyes on the descending moon the whole time. Suddenly, he is thrown into a dreamlike state, one where he reminisces about Lucy, but says that he still kept his eyes on the moon. In his mind, then, Lucy and the moon have become juxtaposed. Therefore, when the moon drops, he panics and thinks that Lucy could be dead. This thought is no doubt irrational, since the moon really has nothing to do with whether or not Lucy is alive. He nevertheless experiences this thought, though, and that\'s why he insists to only tell this story to a lover, someone who can understand why this irrational thought popped into his head.

| Posted on 2011-04-27 | by a guest

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I think the moon is an allegory for the moond of the lover and for the transience of love and of Lucy herself. The moon sinks, Lucy could die.

| Posted on 2011-01-05 | by a guest

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In the poem \"strange fits of passion have I known,\" Wordsworth talks about his lover, Lucy, and how he imagines her death.
In the beginning he is as if not very sure about telling the readers this incident/story, as he says \"i will dare to tell, but in the lover\'s ear alone\" as if to say that only a lover, or a person in his position will be able to understand his \'strange fits of passion\' and sympathise with him.
He describes lucy as a \'rose fresh in June\' which indicates the transiency of beauty, as a fresh rose is short lived.
He as if tells us a story. He is travelling on horseback, over grass meadows and orchards, to Lucy\'s house which is a cottage on a hill. He describes the movement of the horse, as it paces hoof after hoof, and while travelling he keeps his eyes on the moon. The moon\'s significance is that of romance, perhaps and of a somewhat magical beauty. As his horse moves on, the level of the moon sinks.
When he reaches close to the cottage, the mood of the poem changes, and in a very scared and fearful tone he says, \"o mercy, if lucy should be dead!\"
he imagines the death of lucy.
He has realised that his love cannot live forever, and he will have to part from her one day or the other. This signify\'s the transiency of love and the fact that love is not immortal.
In a very romantic and beautiful way, Wordsworth has captured the transiency of LOVE.

| Posted on 2011-01-03 | by a guest

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The poem “Strange Fits of Passion I Have Known”, by William Wordsworth was written in the Romantic period and is about the narrator, who is most likely Wordsworth himself, considering how different life would be if it did not have his “beloved Lucy” in it.
The poem has a very regular rhyme scheme and is in a simple ballad form. Wordsworth often wrote poems in this way as it allowed him to give simple speech more depth and rhythm. In many of his other poems, for example, “The Fountain”, Wordsworth also uses the style of normal speech put to a certain simple rhythm or rhyme scheme. The act of doing this is suggestive of the fact that Wordsworth’s true feelings are shown through his poems as he just wishes to speak out normally. This style of archaic poetry which has a likeness to normal speech was not particularly popular until Wordsworth began publishing his works, especially in “The Prelude”.
Wordsworth’s poems also increased the popularity of writing about nature. Wordsworth was a religious man, and continually wrote about the beauty of nature that is all around us. A predominant example of this is his poem “Nutting” in which he speaks of a “Spirit in the woods”.
The rhythm of the poem (eight syllables before six syllables on alternate lines) gives the poem a pace which would be the same sort of speed he would be travelling. Line 11 reads “My horse trudged on, and we drew nigh” and the struggle of stamina suggested through the verb “trudged” is also demonstrated in the metre of the poem. These things suggest the state of mind of the narrator also.
However, the rhythm of the poem is disrupted in the penultimate stanza through the use of punctuation such as the semi-colon. The semi-colon creates a pause in a different place to before and the change in the rhythm of the poem is being used to show the changing thoughts of the narrator. In this stanza enjambement is also used to reflect the words in the 21st and 22nd lines of the poem. The words “hoof after hoof // He raised, and never stopped” are written with enjambement because as the words continue onto the next line without a break, the continuing movement of the horse is represented.
Wordsworth’s choice of lexis also denotes a change in the style of the poem around this point. The first few stanzas are filled with words which suggest movement, but are not sudden or quick, such as “descending” and “reached”, but in the stanza before the end the style changes so things happen more suddenly, as shown on line 24, which reads, “At once, the planet dropped.”
Line 24 could also be seen as a tool of figurative language. The sudden drop could be interpreted as a thought abruptly entering the narrators head, as the line is very similar to the common spoken phrase ‘the penny dropped’. This way of interpreting the poem is the supported in the final paragraph, where Wordsworth tells the reader what the thought was.
The changing thoughts of the narrator, as shown through the in the penultimate stanza, are something that is quite important in Wordsworth’s piece of work. Some critics may suggest that Wordsworth’s poem is about how most things, if not everything, is ephemeral. This idea is suggested in the way the narrator of the poem continuously talks about keeping their eye “on the descending moon” but then is disappears as “the planet dropped”. Furthermore, the instances where Wordsworth talks about nature in this poem also suggest transience. For example, Wordsworth compares his beloved Lucy to “a rose in June”, and this one month in summer is not a long time. Roses, much the same as everything else in nature, have to die at some point.
I believe the poem is about Wordsworth trying to portray suddenly realising that his loved one won’t be around forever. The images of nature, and of the moon, are merely being used as tools to give the reader more information about the state of mind of the narrator. The last lines read “‘O mercy!’ to myself I cried, // ‘If Lucy should be dead!’” and show that Wordsworth understands that just like everything else, a loved one can disappear unexpectedly and that the thought of it happening pops into his head and worries him just before he enters the house.
I feel that the poem is clever because it alerts the reader that normal thought processes will be altered by the end of it. The first stanza shows that the “strange fits of passion” Wordsworth feels are something to be slightly ashamed of. The lines, “And I will dare to tell, // But in the lover’s ear alone” show that Wordsworth doesn’t want to admit the thoughts that once “befel” to him. (The word “befel” in itself has negative connotations and this raises the tension as the reader continues on to find out what the “strange fits of passion” actually were.
I like the poem as I find the concept of things being ephemeral to be interesting. The transience of things, specifically beauty, is also very much demonstrated in Wordsworth poem “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge”, which is one of the most famous poems of all time. The Romantic era in which Wordsworth was writing was very influential on his work, and Wordsworth also influenced this era, I believe. The brevity of the life was being represented more and more in poetry and other prose around this time and was also being connected with the existence of God. Wordsworth continually tried to address this idea in a number of his poems.

| Posted on 2009-05-19 | by a guest

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strange fits of passion have i know. the first sentence implies emotional intensity nand the secrecy is shown by the word strange.
and the words i will dare to tell show the negative connotations that someting bad is about to happen. what once to me befell.. shows an ominous tone to be created.
the moon is talked about repeatedly and shows the subjectivity of his recolection.
benneath the evening moon. is the 1st referene moon made portrays the darkness and mystery . thi sadds to the suspense with the suspense is not threatening yet. portraying the moon. its not romantic just in general terms.

| Posted on 2009-03-04 | by a guest

.: My anaysis :.

It gives you the idea that he lost something or someone in this case very close to him and they can only be together in the speaker’s dream. Also in this line “O mercy!" to myself I cried,"If Lucy should be dead!" is suppose to be the nightmare but in reality she is dead and he is the one dreaming of her being alive.

| Posted on 2008-02-21 | by a guest

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