PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Next Issue Jason Allen-Paisant, Reclaiming Time: On Blackness and Landscape Tara Bergin, Five Poems Miles Burrows, Icelandic Journal Jonathan E Hirschfeld, Against Oblivion Colm Toibin, From Vinegar Hill
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This report is taken from PN Review 232, Volume 43 Number 2, November - December 2016.

Reading Wordsworth: Two poems from Lyrical Ballads
(4th edition, 1805)
Thomas Kinsella

Lines 1–3: High expectations established: ‘singled out’; ‘heavenly’; immortality;

4–7: followed by ordinary rural matters in plain narrative: the speaker setting out for a day gathering nuts in the distant woods.

7–13: He sees himself as faintly comic, with marks of the beggar and clown; dressed for the roughnesses ahead by his attentive, sensible wife.

13–20: Reaching the distant woods, he finds a sheltered, virgin scene waiting, untouched. He senses its vulnerability, and there is an atmosphere of threat in the words ‘broken’, ‘Drooped  ...  withered’, ’ungracious’, ‘devastated’.

20–24: His response is intense: paused; standing and observing, almost breathless with pleasure; controlling his great emotion while indulging in the certainty, unchallenged, of the feast.

24–28: Lines presenting an alternative, contrasting, response to the scene : sitting, not standing; toying with flowers, in a quiet emotion like the restful peace after long tiredness...

29–33: an emotion related to the scene as imagined while still unvisited and virgin : the violets pursuing the changing year in their own way, with no reference to the human measurement of the seasons; the stream, magical and undisturbed, murmuring onward to itself...

33–37: the stream as seen, and sensed physically, with cheek placed down against a stone – one of a number of stones covered with moss, like sheep covered with fleece, partaking in the life of the scene.

38–42: He is in that abstract mood when – utterly content, and with mind adrift – one idles with whatever is to ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image