Thursday Verseday with Arlinda
William Wordsworth once said “that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” While dealing with a rough commute after the recent snowstorm, I began to think, how would I view this snowstorm a day from now, or a few days from now? Would I be annoyed that my car needed to be shoveled, or would I remember the beauty of a newly created winter wonderland? Would I write a poem displaying the harsh effects of the snowstorm, or one depicting the joy of having a snow day? According to Wordsworth, sometimes emotions are too powerful, and one needs to recollect one’s emotions when they have had a moment to relax and think.
In Wordsworth’s poem “Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” the speaker looks back on a site they visited five years ago and contemplates the appreciation they feel for nature. Some of my favorite lines in the poem include, “I have owed to them/ In hours of weariness, sensations sweet/ Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart/ And passing even into my purer mind/ With tranquil restoration.” Whenever I read these lines, I wonder how strongly nature impacts an individual person, and how would we feel about nature if we recollected our thoughts in a moment of peace, much as the speaker in this poem. The speaker in Wordsworth’s poem conveys the idea that nature has the ability to make him calm and lower his blood pressure as he reminisces, in a moment of tranquility, the beautiful landscapes near Tintern Abbey.
After rereading this poem, I realized the calming effects nature could have on individuals. I thought about the snowstorm the other day and how magical the world looked with a blanket of white falling to cover the land. I realized that while Wordsworth may not have meant the exact same thing by “emotion recollected in tranquility”, I was able to look back on the snowstorm with positive and peaceful feelings. If I were to write a poem based on my recollection of the snowstorm now, it would be more of a ‘hey it’s a winter wonderland’ as opposed to ‘hey it’s a cold and icy land.’
Wordsworth taught future poets to appreciate nature, and to realize that sometimes emotions are too powerful to be written in the moment. His poems convey the wisdom one can find within the natural world. Thanks to Wordsworth, I appreciate the recent snow day, and the sting of cleaning ice off of my car is just a little less than it was yesterday. Read Wordsworth for yourselves, and let his poems paint a picture of a serene natural environment; maybe you’ll even be inspired to write your own poem, after recollecting your emotions in a moment of peace, and after reading one of Wordworth’s poems, of course!