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Anecdote For Fathers Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Wordsworth Type: Poetry Views: 1604

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I have a boy of five years old;

His face is fair and fresh to see;

His limbs are cast in beautyÕs mold

And dearly he loves me.

One morn we strolled on our dry walk,

Or quiet home all full in view,

And held such intermitted talk

As we are wont to do.

My thoughts on former pleasures ran;

I thought of Kilve's delightful shore,

Our pleasant home when spring began,

A long, long year before.

A day it was when I could bear

Some fond regrets to entertain;

With so much happiness to spare,

I could not feel a pain.

The green earth echoed to the feet

Of lambs that bounded through the glade,

From shade to sunshine, and as fleet

From sunshine back to shade.

Birds warbled round me---and each trace

Of inward sadness had its charm;

Kilve, thought I, was a favoured place,

And so is Liswyn farm.

My boy beside me tripped, so slim

And graceful in his rustic dress!

And, as we talked, I questioned him,

In very idleness.

"Now tell me, had you rather be,"

I said. and took him by the arm,

"On Kilve's smooth shore, by the green sea,

Or here at Liswyn farm?"

In careless mood he looked at me,

While still I held him by the arm,

And said, "At Kilve I'd rather be

Than here at Liswyn farm."

"Now, little Edward, say why so:

My little Edward, tell me why."---

"I cannot tell, I do not know."---

"Why, this is strange," said I;

"For, here are woods, hills smooth and warm:

There surely must one reason be

Why you would change sweet Liswyn farm

For Kilve by the green sea."

At this, my boy hung down his head,

He blushed with shame, nor made reply;

And three times to the child I said,

"Why, :Edward, tell me why?"

His head he raised---there was in sight,

It caught his eye, he saw it plain---

Upon the house-top, glittering bright,

A broad and gilded vane.

Then did the boy his tongue unlock,

And eased his mind with this reply:

"At Kilve there was no weather-cock;

And that's the reaon why."

O dearest, dearest boy! my heart

For better lore would seldom yearn,

Could I but teach the hundredth part

Of what from thee I learn.


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

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may only be an analysis of the writing. No requests for explanation or
general short comments allowed. Due to Spam Posts are moderated before

| Posted on 2012-09-20 | by a guest

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its a good sweet poem which depicts lots of inner meanings iam really satisfied with this poem

| Posted on 2012-09-01 | by a guest

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Children appear frequently in romantic poems as the theme of childhood is very relevant to the romantic era. The feeling at the time was of seeing the world anew and exploring it from a child's spoint of view. The many revolutions of the time highlight the feeling of 'starting anew' which enhance/influence this feeling amongst poets.

| Posted on 2010-06-09 | by a guest

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The poem 'Anecdote for fathers', displays the celebration for childhood in the Romantic movement. They revolted agaisnt the rational, logical thinking (seen in the fathers need for an answer from the child) and looking toward emotion and the imagination. This poem can be corellated with Wordsworth's very famous poem - 'My heart leaps up when i behold'. It contains the line 'Child is father of the man' - which i believe is very fitting to this poem.

| Posted on 2010-06-01 | by a guest

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In the first stanza we learn about the child. We learn straight away that the child is the narrator’s son, and that he is ‘five years old’. The description of the child in this stanza tells us that his limbs are cast from ‘beauty’s mould’. This is similar to the description of the ‘City’ in ‘Composed Upon Westminster Bridge’, where the ‘City’ wears ‘beauty’ as a ‘garment’. It is similar, as ‘beauty’ is not meant in the usual sense of something having beauty or being pretty. But it is changed to mean something else. In ‘Composed Upon Westminster Bridge’, ‘beauty’ is a garment’, and in ‘Anecdote for Fathers’, it is a ‘mould’. ‘Beauty’s mould’ is also important in reference to childhood. Young children are often described as being beautiful; this could be the case here in ‘Anecdote for Fathers’.
The last line of the first stanza says that the boy loves his father ‘dearly’. This is a particularly typical trait of children. Children often tell their parents that they love them. Love is often described in a completely different way, and people say that you can only experience it when you understand what it is. However, when looked up in a dictionary, love is described as a feeling of intense emotion. Therefore meaning that anyone can feel it at any time. This love for family can be relate to another of Wordsworth’s poems, ‘We Are Seven’. In this poem the ‘little Maid’, loves her brother ‘John’ and sister ‘Jane’ so much so, that, even when they have died, she believes that they live on and can feel her love for them. She loves them so much and shows her feelings by sitting with them by their graves, knitting stockings and singing them songs. Although she does not mention that she loves them, it is one possible that that is one of the underlying reason why she does these things near them, and will not say that she has two less siblings.
In the second stanza, the first line tells us that the father and son are on a walk, on a dry day. This is akin to ‘Nutting’, where the child goes out into the woods on a walk. However, it is different in that the child has company in ‘Anecdote for Fathers’, where in ‘Nutting’, he goes alone. Where in ‘Nutting’, the child can destroy the surrounding nature, and there is no mention of a Father. On the other hand, in ‘Anecdote for Fathers’, the child is kept in line by the father. The father figure keeps him on the path, and could be a metaphor for God, keeping the boy on the correct path. In addition to this supposed metaphor, because it is set in the ‘morn’ so it would be light. The light could, therefore, represent the light of God.
The third and fourth stanzas are about the father reminiscing about the past when he was in ‘Kilve’ the ‘year before’. The father misses the ‘shore’ at ‘Kilve’, but will not let the regrets of leaving there spoil the walk he is having with his son. He lets the memories flood through his head, allowing them to ‘entertain’ him on his walk. This can be seen from the perspective of a child. Children use their imaginations much more that adults, and will often play games which are mostly based in their heads. The father’s use of his imagination here is entertaining him, and could therefore be seen as how a child would entertain itself as it wandered along in the country. This is familiar to us from ‘Nutting’, in the line, ‘Among the flowers, and with the flowers; I played’.
Following on from these stanzas of reminiscence, the next two talk about the nature surrounding. The theme of nature runs through the vast majority of Wordsworth’s poems. However, the first line of the sixth stanza, ‘Birds warbled’, relates to the Wordsworth poem, ‘There was a Boy’, the line it relates to is when the owls would ‘shout’ at the boy. However, the line from ‘Anecdote for Fathers’ is much softer that that of ‘There was a Boy’. ‘Shout’ is a much harder word than ‘warbled’. This relates to the child through an analysis I have made on the poem ‘There was a Boy’. I suggested that the owls could represent the child’s parents, and that they were the ones shouting at him, rather than nature, and that could be why he goes out alone, to get away from them. The owls may represent the past and the future, past telling off he has received and the telling off that is to come because of him being out in the night on his own. The ‘mimic hootings’ that the boy calls back to the owls could be him showing that that is how he thinks he should behave. So, the same could be said about the warbling birds in ‘Anecdote for Fathers’. The conversation between the father and son is light and friendly. This conversation could be represented by the warbling of the birds.
The father narrates that Kilve ‘was’ a favoured place and that so ‘is’ Liswyn farm. This shows the father’s readiness to forget the past and move onto the new. He does not want to be living in the memories of Kilve.
The father then asks the child whether he would live ‘here’ at Liswyn farm or in Kilve where they used to live. This shows the adults need for logical evidence. The child answers that he would rather live at Kilve’s shore. This is a natural reaction for a child, and for adults alike, I am sure. Nobody wants to leave where they are settled. When a child id told that it is moving to a new house and so a new school, their immediate reaction is to say that they don’t want to do that, and that they would rather stay where they are. No one really likes change that is going to take them out of their comfort zone. A child’s comfort zone is sure to be smaller than that of an adult’s, an adult can put up with more than a child, and so it is more of a childish reaction. The father then tries to establish why he, the child, would rather live at Kilve. The child tells that he does not know why. This is akin to when the child in ‘Nutting’ begin to destroy the area of the woods that he is in. There is no reason for it, it just happens, he just feels like it at the time. This could be the same in ‘Anecdote for Fathers’, the child does not know really why he feels this way, he just does.
When the father is persistent about why the boy, Edward, as he is named in the tenth stanza, dislikes Liswyn Farm, he comes up with the first suggestion that comes into his head. This is the weather-cock on the top of the house at Liswyn Farm. The weather-cock may represent that ‘here’ at Liswyn Farm things are more controlled. This would be because the father is trying to control what the boy prefers by offering him what is at Liswyn Farm and suggesting that it might be better than at Kilve.

| Posted on 2009-12-01 | by a guest

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Wordsworth is highlighting the excellence of the child here as well. He finds his simpilicity refreshing and feels he could learn from it.
(Excellence of the child is a view corroborated by Rousseau)

| Posted on 2009-05-28 | by a guest

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This poem reiterates the Romantic beliefs on childhood and purity. Wordsworth is suggesting the great things we can learn from children, who perhaps have purer minds than adults. The father in the poem wants a rational and logical answer as to why his child prefers one place to another. The father becomes quite agitated and repeatedly asks why. This need for logical reasoning is also seen in the adult characterised in "We are seven". To please his father and to answer his seemingly 'tedious' questions, the child replies simply that, "there was no weather-cock". Here, Wordsworth portrays the boy with a real sense of maturity as he answers just to please his father. The role of the adult and child is questioned. Wordsworth shows the child to have more intelligence than his father, however, the type of intelligence is of a spiritual type, one and that can't be learnt in books: The knowledge to sometimes just accept things, without need for rationalisation.
tp x

| Posted on 2009-01-14 | by a guest

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We have a father who is thinking like a logical adult, comparing the weather of the two places, and ultimately deciding that they are both perfect. The child, on the other hand, sees the weather-vane as the deciding factor--he is either afraid of it or resents its controlling (read: scientific) relationship with the natural world, and therefore chooses the more "natural," less frightening place.

| Posted on 2008-12-09 | by a guest

.: Anecdote for Fathers :.

In Anecdote for Fathers Wordsworth portrays the characteristics of Romanticism. The poem itself describes the point of view of a father who has been strongly influenced by his childs thoughts. There is a conflict in the poem as to where the boy wanted to live versus where the father wanted to.

| Posted on 2007-12-18 | by a guest

.: :.

In Anecdote for Fathers Wordsworth portrays the characteristics of Romanticism. The poem itself describes the point of view of a father who has been strongly influenced by his childs thoughts. There is a conflict in the poem as to where the boy wanted to live versus where the father wanted to.

| Posted on 2007-12-18 | by a guest

.: :.

In Anecdote for Fathers Wordsworth portrays the characteristics of Romanticism. The poem itself describes the point of view of a father who has been strongly influenced by his childs thoughts. There is a conflict in the poem as to where the boy wanted to live versus where the father wanted to.

| Posted on 2007-12-18 | by a guest

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I liked this poem i have to do a 25 minute oral presentaion on this poem soon in my english lit class so i need so overviews from other people anyone else have anything for me? I have many different things on this poem already but i need to know the structure of this poem and history behind it like what was the author thinking i have found many things on William Wordsworth but i need more about what he was thinking around the time this poem was being written. so i would appreciate some help thank you alot.

| Posted on 2006-02-17 | by Approved Guest

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