“She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways” by william Wordsworth (1770-1850) is a Romantic poem by among the co-founder of English Romanticism. The poem celebrates one admired girl or young mrs (a “Maid”) by link her with the beauties that nature. Both in that topic and also its method, the city is a prototypical representative piece of Romantic writing. Other typical Romantic traits of this work include its relatively simple, straightforward language; its focus on the personal, emotionally expression of a specific speaker; its issue with countryside life; its liberty from references to classical mythology (such as were regularly used in previously poetry); and also its short, lyric form.

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right from heat one, the speak introduces “She,” his subject of affection. Only much later in the work, however, execute we discover that this “She” has a certain name: “Lucy” (10). She is less important, though, together a particular, specifically individualized person than together a symbol of any kind of beloved female. Return this city is part of a collection of lyrics by Wordsworth entailing “Lucy,” she remains much more a “type” that character than an individual through a highly specific personality of she own. She is much more important together the object of the speaker’s feelings than as a complicated subject in her own right. The poem, together it turns out, is indeed as much about the speaker together it is around the mrs he praises.

No sooner is the woman’s presence created by the poem’s first word than we instantly sense that something has actually changed. No sooner, that is, carry out we review “She” than we review “dwelt” (past tense). Why is she no much longer dwelling? has she moved? has actually something negative happened come her? We later on learn, the course, that she is dead, but, for the moment, words “dwelt” merely raises questions. 


The fact that the mrs dwelled amongst “untrodden” means is significant. Her surroundings, apparently, were rural; she was a number of the nation rather 보다 the city. Romantic poets in general—and Wordsworth in particular—often observed the country as a ar of virtue and the city together a place of vice, and also so we deserve to expect the the speaker will certainly be sympathetic towards (rather 보다 dismissive of) a young woman living in the countryside. Maybe she was not just a rural woman but a mrs of reasonably modest circumstances, and it is partly the reality that she represents the common folk of rural England that will certainly make her attractive both come the speaker and also to Wordsworth.

where it was the she “dwelt” in the countryside, it remained in a ar (or places) not generally visited. Notice, then, what this fact implies around the speaker: he, somehow, has went to her populated place; he, somehow, has had the chance to know and also appreciate her, and also now the shares the privilege with the reader. The city will imply that she was somehow a specifically intriguing person, but the poem will additionally imply that the speaker self was qualified of valuing a human being who could easily have actually been overlooked or ignored by others.

The fact that the “Maid” dwelled “Beside the springs the Dove” (2) is intriguing for several reasons. First, words “springs” immediately associates her v life and also purity—with openly running, clear water arising from the earth. Thus in every these means she is connected with the beauty and vitality of nature. Secondly, “springs” when again emphasizes the remoteness of she home: she did no live in a location where the river was wide, deep, or well-traveled. Simply as the courses on the ground bring about her home were fairly “untrodden,” for this reason her house was not easily available by boat. In both ways, then, her isolation is emphasized.

Finally, the reference to the “Dove” river seems significant. Several rivers in England and also Wales be affected by each other this or comparable names, and also so the word “Dove” seems important more for what it symbolizes than for its precise geographical significance. The birds called doves, of course, have long been associated with peace, tranquility, gentleness, tenderness, love, beauty, life (as in the Biblical legend that Noah), and even the divine Spirit (as in various other Biblical passages). (For more on the symbolism that doves, almost all of it attractive in a selection of cultures, check out Hans Biedermann"s Dictionary of Symbolism.) The resonance of the poem’s 2nd line would be quite different if, because that instance, the speaker had mentioned “the springs that Hawk” or “the springs that Raven,” not to cite other kinds of birds one might easily name. The phrase “springs the Dove” implies, in two methods at once, both freedom and also beauty.

heat 3 defines the “Maid” as someone “whom there to be none come praise,” but of food this poem, paradoxically, rectifies that deficiency. In other words, this an extremely poem praises the Maid even as that laments the absence of people to praise her. Similarly, when line 4 defines her as someone whom there to be “very few to love,” the city itself as soon as again seems to to express the very love or affection it states the mrs was denied. However the focus here on the previous tense (“were”) implies that both the praise and the love the city expresses may somehow it is in coming also late.

In the poem’s 2nd stanza, both the imagery and the ton of the work become literally darker. The color white, associated with the “Dove,” had been the main shade emphasized in the first stanza. Now, in stanza two, the dark, violet flower (and color) well-known as “violet” receives prompt stress. The speaker, using a metaphor, defines the “Maid” together “A violet through a mossy stone / fifty percent hidden from the eye,” thereby implying her beauty, she smallness and also delicacy, and her remoteness. As soon as again, the phrasing is paradoxical: if the young mrs was when “Half concealed from the eye,” part of the duty of the existing poem is to speak to attention to her and celebrate her, yet the speaker’s prayer (as the city will quickly reveal) comes also late. Once we later find that the maid is dead, us realize the she is currently no much longer merely half-hidden yet (at the very least physically) completely hidden in the grave. However (to compound the paradoxes also further) she will certainly be much better known v this city (while dead) than she ever before was when she was literally alive.

Imagery of darkness i do not care even much more intense in the second fifty percent of the second stanza 보다 it had remained in the first. Lines 5-6 had compared the maid come a dark-colored violet, however lines 7-8 to compare her come a single star surrounding (and highlighted) by the darkness the the sky. (The surname “Lucy” literally means “light.”) This phrasing renders the maid sound, rather literally, uniquely attractive, yet it likewise begins to combine her through a kind of beauty the is far more remote, and also far much less accessible, 보다 the beauty explained in stanza one. The first stanza had associated her v the water flowing from the earth; the 2nd stanza associates her, in its final two lines, v the distant beauty of the heavens.

Stanza 3 reiterates the an essential idea the the maid resided in a place and in a means that do her very existence usually unknown. Indeed, she life to be so far from the resides of others that as soon as she “ceased to be” (10), her passing went mainly unnoticed. The city announces her fatality to other human being even as it likewise has dubbed her really existence, which has actually now “ceased,” to your attention. This, of course, is simply the latest in a range of paradoxes that characterize this short lyric.

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notice the the opposite afforded through the poem’s ending. The poem began by emphasizing that Lucy was physically remote and basically unnoticed. It ends by stressing the she is now in her “grave” (11), so that now she is even more remote, and also even less subject to notice, 보다 she had been while living. The poem opened with usually factual explanation carrying small emotional stress; the city ends, however, through implying a selection of emotions with the single, emphatic exclamation “oh!” (11). This simple, two-letter word have the right to suggest shock, pain, regret, remorse, and longing (to mention just a couple of possibilities). Finally, the poem had actually opened with the pronoun “She,” but it closes v the pronoun “me”—a small fact that nevertheless symbolizes just how the emphasis of the poem has actually shifted indigenous Lucy it s her to the speaker’s an individual feelings because that the maid who is now, unfortunately, dead.