Friday, November 14, 2008

Advice Upon The Week Ending

Let me begin with a qualifier: You know I love books. I really, really do.

It's funny how sometimes in life we have a repeated thought or worry in mind. It nags at you, berates you. Maybe it slowly brings you down. But then, there are those moments when you find just what you needed to set you straight again.

For instance, right now I am sick to death of homework. And it HAS been bringing me down. Oddly enough, while doing my homework, I found this:

The Tables Turned

Up! Up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! Up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.

And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your Teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless-
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:-
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

-William Wordsworth, 1798

Thanks for the advice, Wordsworth. I think I'll go for a walk...


Kaylynn said...

One of the best experiences that I had was to go to Wordsworth's home. The tour guide was amazing--reciting his poetry and his wife's writings as well. We (me and my fellow students) were there just after the peak of the daffodils season--so it was breathtaking! I too am sick of homework, and I'm only taking one class. Come and comment---please---please.

Chris said...

While reading that poem, I was struck by the irony of how many books the poet would have had to have read in order to be able to express a distrust of books in such a poetic way. The poet's power to express is born of books. At the end, though, I think the narrator's betrayal of the books is allowable; the more time the narrator spends with books, the more qualified the narrator is to judge them.

Nice post, Orb.

Abby said...

Yes, Chris, but don't you find it ironic, too, that he would tell the reader to close his books and go outside, when to be reading his poem, they would have to be reading a book?
But I do feel that he doens't mean every book here. I think he means study books. Like, you know, Spanish. ;)

Abby said...

Kaylynn, I can't believe you've toured his home! And his sister, Dorothy, April 15th, 1802, in The Grasmere Journals, wrote "When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side. We fancied that the lake had floated the seeds ashore and that the little colony had so sprung up-But as we went along there were more & yet more & at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew upon the mossy stones as on a pillow for weariness & the rest tossed & reeled & danced & seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing." You are so lucky to have SEEN the ancestors of the daffodils that Dorothy and William saw as they walked that day!
Also, were you able to see what remains of Tintern Abbey? I don't know how far away it was from where they lived, but it would be very interesting to see!

Abby said...

And Chris, one more thing. For Wordsworth, his power to express was born of nature. He was deeply connected with and inspired by nature. But you are definitely correct, he had to have spent a lot of time with his nose in books and probably got quite tired of them.

Kaylynn said...

Abby, once my class is finished, I will write up a piece about going to Wordsworth home. It was a really neat experience!

Chris said...

Yup; ironic on a number of defferent levels.

Nature, though, that thing called nature--now that is a rock upon which the poet can always rely and fall back on; the works of man (books included) are less-reliable and full of holes.

Kimba said...

Do it. Boycott homework! All weekend long. We'll pretend we're together.

Leslie said...

You all make me miss college dearly. I know you want to leave the homework behind and just read for pleasure but cherish the time. I now wish I could put a good sentence together and analyze a poem well...even w/ the love of literature, when you are out of practice or out of time to read it and appreciate its beauty you get a little rusty.
Enjoy your walk!

Adam and Tara said...

Oh wordsworth... I had to write three different papers on he and Blake. Ugh. I love him but I hate him, ya know?

Kjersti said...

Wow. I really liked the poem and REALLY liked getting to read what you and Chris thought about the poem. And I have to agree with Leslie. I know you get sick of your homework and all, but I'm totally jealous of you!