'Stanzas' by William Wordsworth

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ONCE I could hail (howe'er serene the sky)
The Moon re-entering her monthly round,
No faculty yet given me to espy
The dusky Shape within her arms imbound,
That thin memento of effulgence lost
Which some have named her Predecessor's ghost. .

Young, like the Crescent that above me shone,
Nought I perceived within it dull or dim;
All that appeared was suitable to One
Whose fancy had a thousand fields to skim;
To expectations spreading with wild growth,
And hope that kept with me her plighted troth.

I saw (ambition quickening at the view)
A silver boat launched on a boundless flood;
A pearly crest, like Dian's when it threw
Its brightest splendor round a leafy wood;
But not a hint from under-ground, no sign
Fit for the glimmering brow of Proserpine.

Or was it Dian's self that seemed to move
Before me ?---nothing blemished the fair sight;
On her I looked whom jocund fairies love,
Cynthia, who puts the little stars to flight,
And by that thinning magnifies the great,
For exaltation of her sovereign state.

And when I learned to mark the spectral Shape
As each new Moon obeyed the call of Time,
If gloom fell on me, swift was my escape;
Such happy privilege hath life's gay Prime,
To see or not to see, as best may please
A buoyant Spirit, and a heart at ease.

Now, dazzling Stranger! when thou meet'st my glance,
Thy dark Associate ever I discern;
Emblem of thought too eager to advance
While I salute my joys, thoughts sad or stern;
Shades of past bliss, or phantoms that, to gain
Their fill of promised lustre, wait in vain.

So changes mortal life with fleeting years;
A mournful change, should Reason fail to bring
The timely insight that can temper fears,
And from vicissitude remove its sting;
While Faith aspires to seats in that domain
Where joys are perfect---neither wax nor wane.

Editor 1 Interpretation

The Sublime Beauty of William Wordsworth's "Stanzas"

When it comes to discussing the great poets of the English language, William Wordsworth is a name that is sure to come up. His contributions to the Romantic movement, his love of nature and his mastery of language all make him one of the most important figures in the canon of literature. One of his most celebrated works, "Stanzas," is a perfect example of his talent and artistry. With its sublime descriptions of nature and its meditations on the meaning of life, "Stanzas" is a poem that continues to resonate with readers today.

The Beauty of Nature

One of the most striking features of "Stanzas" is the way it celebrates the beauty of the natural world. Wordsworth was a passionate lover of nature and his descriptions of the landscape are some of the most evocative and powerful in all of literature. In "Stanzas," he paints a picture of a landscape that is both beautiful and mysterious:

A single field which I have looked upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

As the speaker of the poem looks out at the field, he is struck by the way it seems to speak to him. The pansy at his feet, with its delicate petals and vibrant colors, seems to whisper a secret message. But the message is one of loss and longing: the "visionary gleam" and "glory and the dream" of life have all disappeared. Wordsworth's use of language here is masterful, capturing the way that nature can evoke deep emotions and speak to the soul.

The Search for Meaning

In addition to its celebration of nature, "Stanzas" is also a meditation on the meaning of life. The speaker of the poem is searching for a deeper understanding of the world and his place in it. He wonders:

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

The speaker's quest for meaning is a universal one, and Wordsworth captures it perfectly in these lines. We all long for something that has been lost, a time when the world seemed brighter and more full of possibility. But as the speaker notes, that time can never be regained. Instead, we must find meaning in the present moment, even as we mourn what has been lost.

The Power of Imagination

Finally, "Stanzas" is a poem about the power of imagination. The speaker notes that even though the world may seem bleak and empty, the imagination can still conjure up beauty and wonder:

…yet in my heart
Deep-hollowed by the world, there perisheth
The soul of beauty which hath given birth
To all things fair…

The speaker's heart may be "deep-hollowed," but it is still capable of creating beauty. Wordsworth believed that the imagination was a powerful force that could transform the world, and "Stanzas" is a testament to this belief. Even in a world that seems devoid of meaning, the imagination can still find wonder and joy.


In conclusion, "Stanzas" is a poem of great power and beauty. Its celebration of nature, its meditation on the meaning of life, and its exploration of the power of imagination all make it a work that continues to resonate with readers today. William Wordsworth was a true master of language and his ability to capture the essence of the human experience is unparalleled. "Stanzas" is just one example of his genius, and it is a work that deserves to be celebrated for generations to come.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Stanzas by William Wordsworth: A Masterpiece of Romanticism

William Wordsworth, one of the greatest poets of the Romantic era, is known for his profound love for nature and his ability to capture the beauty of the natural world in his poetry. His poem, Poetry Stanzas, is a perfect example of his poetic genius and his love for nature. In this article, we will analyze and explain this masterpiece of Romanticism in detail.

The poem consists of four stanzas, each with six lines. The rhyme scheme is ABABCC, which gives the poem a musical quality. The poem is written in iambic tetrameter, which means that each line has four iambs, or metrical feet, with the stress falling on the second syllable of each foot. This gives the poem a rhythmic flow, which adds to its musicality.

The first stanza of the poem sets the tone for the rest of the poem. Wordsworth begins by saying that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, which come from emotions recollected in tranquility. This means that poetry is not just a product of the poet's imagination, but it is also a reflection of his or her emotions and experiences. The poet must be able to recollect these emotions in a state of tranquility, which allows him or her to express them in a powerful and meaningful way.

In the second stanza, Wordsworth talks about the role of nature in poetry. He says that nature is the source of all inspiration for the poet. The beauty of nature, its sights and sounds, its colors and textures, all provide the poet with a rich source of imagery and metaphor. The poet must be able to see and feel the beauty of nature in order to express it in his or her poetry.

The third stanza of the poem is perhaps the most famous. It is here that Wordsworth talks about the power of memory and how it can transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. He says that memories of past experiences can be so powerful that they can transform the present moment into something magical. The poet must be able to tap into these memories and use them to create something new and beautiful.

In the final stanza, Wordsworth talks about the importance of simplicity in poetry. He says that poetry should be simple and natural, like the beauty of nature itself. The poet should not try to impress the reader with complex language or obscure references. Instead, the poet should strive to express his or her emotions and experiences in a simple and direct way.

Overall, Poetry Stanzas is a masterpiece of Romanticism. It captures the essence of the Romantic movement, with its emphasis on nature, emotion, and imagination. Wordsworth's use of language and imagery is masterful, and his message is both profound and timeless. The poem is a testament to the power of poetry to capture the beauty of the natural world and the human experience. It is a poem that will continue to inspire and move readers for generations to come.

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