Sophomoronic Musings

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tintern Abbey

For Brit Lit today, we read Wordsworth’s Tintern Abbey. I haven’t been affected by literature in this way since I was struck by McCarthy’s exceptional poetic prose in All The Pretty Horses.
What struck me about this poem was how it describing communing with nature and being one with the world.

Although I would love to tell you that otherwise, I’ve always had an inner hippie deep, deep inside of me. But to my defense, I am from Oregon, so I never really had a choice in the matter. And today, Tintern Abbey made me actually confront it.

Never before have I read something that so accurately and poetically captured that feeling you experience when you’re standing atop Sentinel Dome in Yosemite or hiking through the Tetons. It’s a sense that you are part of something so much bigger than yourself. It’s that feeling when you feel completely whole and in balance with the world. I imagine that enlightenment would constantly feel that way.

The poem also went on to discuss our relationship with the world at certain points in our lives. When we are young, we are naive and we don’t use logic to confront the world because we haven’t developed it yet. We are blissfully oblivious to bad and scary things. But then we progress to post-adolescence where we realize our logic. This new way to view the world scares us. My professor described it as being terrified by something you love. But then you come to terms with the world and your logic. You can finally experience the world that you love with out being scared. You can fully live your life. And that sounds so incredible.

But being as I am only 19, I still fit into the obligatory post-adolescent category. I first experienced this when I went off to college in a completely new part of the country. I saw the world from a brand new and no longer naive viewpoint. It was scary. I was taken completely off guard by its differences from the West Coast. But I’ve learned so much about the Mid West. I’m inching away toward the final category where I can experience the world from a non-scary logical viewpoint.

Goodness gracious, I love reading all of the romantic era poets for Brit Lit. I can’t wait to take the 3000 level Brit Lit course next semester!

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