Lines Written in Early Spring by William Wordsworth

The main idea of the poem:

In Lines Written in Early Spring, the speaker in the very first stanza describes himself as being In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts. Bring sad thoughts to the mind. The juxtaposition of pleasant thoughts and sad thoughts seems strange. But this feeling of pain and pleasure runs through the poem. The speaker is ‘grieved’ in the second stanza and says that he has 'reason to lament. But if you go down the page and notice the words: fair, sweet, enjoys, played, pleasure, it will be clear that the poem is filled with delight. The pleasure of the poem is associated with ‘fair works’ of Nature: the flowers, the birds, the budding twigs etc. But grief interrupts the pleasure whenever the speaker thinks of ‘what man has made of man’. The phrase has been repeated in the last stanza to emphasize it. So it seems that a simple, unresolved tension runs through the poem. 

Choice of words that express the main idea

The first stanza sets the setting of the poem. The speaker is sitting in a ‘grove’ which is referred to as 'green bower' later in the poem. A ‘grove’ or a ‘bower’ is a carefully planned shady place. So we can visualize a cultivated landscape, nature created by human labour. In the second stanza, the poet humanizes nature as ‘nature’ is called 'her'. In the third nature enjoys breathing the air, in stanza four, the birds hop and play and think. In stanza five the twigs have a fan to catch the breeze. So nature is functioning in human ways and the poet feels delighted. Again he gets depressed when he thinks about what man has made of man. So there is some tension in the speaker of the poem which remains unsettled.

Focusing on the last stanza

The poem ends with unresolved tension. In the last stanza, the language is religious: belief, heaven, holy. Divinity is called 'heaven' and ‘Nature’. And the mysterious holy being organized the world in such a way that the ‘pleasant thoughts’ and pleasurable activities are possible but distress comes when the speaker thinks about what human beings have done with these possibilities. The poem expresses both delights with human capacities and grief about human behaviour.
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