Culture and Poetry (Part 6)

The Wordsworth poem in my last post is one of optimism.  It is more abstract than other poems, perhaps adding to its beauty and power to move us forward in finding the meaning of life.

It concerns a traveler witnessing the changes in the countryside as spring arrives. The poem speaks of an “army defeated” in the past, and now a feeling of “joy in the mountains” and “life in the fountains.” The lone traveler is the hero with the trials and ordeals left behind.  With the blue sky now revealed and any clouds brushed aside, the “rain is now over and gone!”

This is symbolic of the hero crossing the threshold back to the everyday world and into a state of happiness.  There is no longer any sense of yearning or desire, just peace. The love of one’s neighbor for the returning hero is the presentation of the vista for us to witness. The trials have been won, the decision has been made to cross the threshold: it is the unfolding of the countryside that has pulled the hero back to the everyday world and to the happiness that lies ahead.

What is the lesson learned?  That with proper preparation and the virtues, as well as the love of our family and community, we can all return from our personal adventures to a state of happiness, as revealed by the great works of art like this one by Wordsworth.

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