Resolution and Independence

When reading “Resolution and Independence”, my first impression of the poem was that it is a clever poem, that had a good transition. William Wordsworth started the poem talking about the environment and the beauty in the surrounding. Then went to relating to himself and how he was raised around it. Then to the old man that was present in the surrounding. To describe the setting, Wordsworth used descriptive language but did not overdo it. He also helped create a visual setting for the place. An example of that would be when he says,

“The grass is bright with rain-drops”

which can paint a picture of this glossy grass in the readers mind. The tone of the poem is also calming and content. It was an easy read but you definitely would have to reread it to make sure you did not miss any small details.

One interesting passage from the poem that drew me in is when he says,

“My whole life I have lived in pleasant thought,

As if life’s business were a summer mood;

As if all needful things would come unsought

To genial faith, still rich in genial good;

But how can He expect that others should

Build for him, sow for him, and at his call

Love him, who for himself will take no heed at all?”

I feel like this passage can be seen as very interesting because he starts off with this positive mood. He compares business to a summer day which most would see that as a happy mood to be in. Then towards the end of the passage he comes to reality that only because he sees the world in this positive light does not mean everyone else does as well. Which can be a sad reality.

Another passage that I admire would be:

“There was a roaring in the wind all night;

The rain came heavily and fell in floods;

But now the sun is rising calm and bright;

The birds are singing in the distant woods;

Over his own sweet voice the Stock-dove broods;

The Jay makes answer as the Magpie chatters;

And all the air is filled with pleasant noise of waters.”

I admire this passage because it is as if he is saying that even with the rough conditions of the night before, the environment was not phased with it and is still beautiful. The birds still have songs that they want to sing and the water will still run its course. Which can be a metaphor for how life can be at times. Life may be hard but it still goes on and one day you could wake up and everything be okay.

Some questions I might be wanting to be answered from the poem are who is the old man, where is the place he speaks of and why is it significant to him? I feel like if those questions were to be answered then the poem would have a personal feeling. Which can make the reader relate more to the author.



Resolution and Independence: First Impressions

The poem Resolution and Independence by William Wordsworth is written from the perspective of the poet. Wordsworth tells how he is wandering in the moors during sunrise, enjoying the beauty of nature. One might describe his attitude in these first three stanzas as carefree. Then, he is saddened by thoughts of his future (Line 35 – “solitude, pain of heart, distress, and poverty”), which he later ascribes to the fate of poets in general (Line 48). In the next stanza, Wordsworth tells of his chance encounter with an old man who is gathering leeches. The old man acts as an inspiration for Wordsworth because he “persevere[s], and find[s] them [leeches] where [he] may” (Line 126). The poem ends with Wordsworth resolving to “stay secure” and presumably, to remain a poet, even though he faces difficulties in the future.

Resolution and Independence deals with both of the topics mentioned in the title, but starts with independence. The first thing I noticed about this part of the poem was the rhyme scheme, which begins with a typical ABAB pattern, but instead of having four lines per stanza, the poem has seven. The rhyme scheme is ABABBCC, which creates a sing-song type rhyme at the end when reading the poem aloud. The rhyme scheme continues throughout the poem, but the effects on the poem’s sound are especially noticeable when Wordsworth describes the natural beauty of the moor at sunrise.

Also noticeable is the poem’s focus on imagery that uses figures of speech to accomplish vivid mental images in the mind of the reader. A good example of this can be found on lines 11 through 14. “The hare is running races in her mirth; / And with her feet she from the plashy earth / Raises a mist, that, glittering in the sun, / Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run”. Wordsworth uses onomatopoeia in “plashy” and even “glittering”. The reader knows from line 11 that the hare is running races in joy. In line 12, Wordsworth provides the reader the sensory image of sound (or feeling, depending upon the listener). Plashy sounds much like splashy or marshy, which can both be considered synonyms, but Wordsworth uses plashy because it imitates the sound that the hare’s feet make as she runs through the wet grass. The next line, line 13, is visual. The listener can almost see the droplets of water sparkling as they are exposed to the rising sun. Line 14 provides the listener with the broader picture (almost like a movie’s wide shot) of the hare’s misty trail following her around the moors. 

The imagery in this poem is very visual, but it relies on quite a few sound devices as well. Alliteration (“choice or chance”, “moor to moor”), rhyme (as discussed earlier), and onomatopoeia (“roar”, “raced”, “warbling”). Thus, the impression that I am left with after reading this poem just a few times is that Wordsworth’s Resolution and Independence is one best read aloud. This type of reading provides the listener with more appreciation for Wordsworth’s sensory details and vivid imagery.