'Anecdote For Fathers' by William Wordsworth

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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.

Editor 1 Interpretation

Anecdote For Fathers: A Masterpiece by William Wordsworth

When it comes to exploring the depths of human emotions and experiences, no poet can match the brilliance of William Wordsworth. His poetry is a reflection of his own life, his struggles, and his triumphs. One of his most famous and revered works is "Anecdote For Fathers," a beautiful and poignant piece that captures the essence of fatherhood and the bond between a parent and child.

At first glance, "Anecdote For Fathers" may seem like a simple poem, but a closer examination reveals a complex set of themes and emotions. The poem is essentially a conversation between a father and his son, and through this dialogue, Wordsworth explores the themes of innocence, childhood, and the passage of time.

The poem begins with the father asking his son if he knows what it means to be afraid. The son, who is only six years old, responds that he does not. This exchange sets the stage for the rest of the poem, as the father proceeds to tell his son a story about his own childhood.

In the story, the father recounts a time when he was walking alone in the woods and came across a large rock that he mistook for a bear. He became frightened and ran away, but when he told his father about it, his father laughed and reassured him that there was nothing to be afraid of.

This anecdote may seem insignificant, but it is actually a powerful metaphor for the bond between a father and child. The father's laughter and reassurance symbolize the protection and security that a parent provides for their child, while the fear and vulnerability of the child represent the innocence and dependence of childhood.

As the poem progresses, the father begins to reflect on the passage of time and the inevitability of change. He tells his son that someday he will be a man, and that the things that frighten him now will seem trivial and insignificant.

This reflection on time and change is a common theme in Wordsworth's poetry, and it is particularly relevant in "Anecdote For Fathers." The poem was written in the early 19th century, a time of great social and political upheaval, and Wordsworth was acutely aware of the changes that were taking place in the world around him.

Through the character of the father, Wordsworth expresses his own anxieties about the passing of time and the loss of innocence. He recognizes that his son will one day grow up and face the same challenges that he did, and he wants to prepare him for that inevitability.

The final stanza of the poem is perhaps the most poignant. The father tells his son that he hopes he will be as good a father as his own father was to him. This sentiment is a testament to the enduring legacy of parenthood, and the responsibility that comes with raising a child.

As a literary critic, it is difficult to overstate the importance of "Anecdote For Fathers" in the canon of English literature. The poem is a masterful example of Wordsworth's skill as a poet, and it captures the essence of fatherhood and the bond between a parent and child in a way that is both timeless and universal.

In conclusion, "Anecdote For Fathers" is a masterpiece of English literature, and it deserves to be studied and celebrated for generations to come. As a reader, it is impossible not to be moved by the beauty and power of Wordsworth's poetry, and his insights into the human experience continue to resonate with readers today.

Editor 2 Analysis and Explanation

Poetry Anecdote For Fathers: A Masterpiece by William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth, one of the greatest poets of the Romantic era, is known for his profound and insightful poetry that captures the beauty of nature and the human experience. Among his many works, "Poetry Anecdote For Fathers" stands out as a masterpiece that reflects his deep understanding of the role of poetry in our lives.

In this poem, Wordsworth addresses fathers and urges them to introduce their children to the world of poetry. He argues that poetry is not just a form of entertainment but a powerful tool that can shape our thoughts, emotions, and values. Through vivid imagery and powerful metaphors, Wordsworth makes a compelling case for the importance of poetry in our lives.

The poem begins with a simple but profound statement: "The child is father of the man." This line encapsulates the central theme of the poem, which is that our childhood experiences shape our adult selves. Wordsworth argues that fathers have a crucial role to play in shaping their children's experiences and preparing them for the challenges of adulthood.

He then goes on to describe the power of poetry to awaken our senses and stimulate our imagination. He compares poetry to a "light that never was on sea or land," suggesting that it has a transformative power that can take us to new heights of understanding and appreciation. He also describes poetry as a "voice of the soul," suggesting that it has a spiritual dimension that can connect us to something greater than ourselves.

Wordsworth then turns his attention to the role of fathers in introducing their children to poetry. He argues that fathers have a unique responsibility to guide their children's intellectual and emotional development. He suggests that fathers should read poetry to their children and encourage them to explore the world of literature.

He also emphasizes the importance of choosing the right kind of poetry. He suggests that fathers should avoid "vapid songs" and "idle rhymes" and instead focus on poetry that has depth and meaning. He argues that children need to be exposed to poetry that challenges them and stimulates their curiosity.

Wordsworth then concludes the poem with a powerful message: "The man is made of such a clay as he who reads this tale of wonder and of joy." This line suggests that the poem itself is a form of poetry that can shape our thoughts and emotions. It also suggests that the act of reading poetry is a transformative experience that can make us better human beings.

In summary, "Poetry Anecdote For Fathers" is a masterpiece of poetry that reflects Wordsworth's deep understanding of the role of poetry in our lives. Through vivid imagery and powerful metaphors, Wordsworth makes a compelling case for the importance of poetry in shaping our thoughts, emotions, and values. He urges fathers to introduce their children to the world of poetry and to choose poetry that has depth and meaning. This poem is a testament to the transformative power of poetry and its ability to connect us to something greater than ourselves.

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