Download Buried communities : Wordsworth and the bonds of mourning by Wordsworth, William; Wordsworth, William; Fosso, Kurt PDF
By Wordsworth, William; Wordsworth, William; Fosso, Kurt
Bargains a proof for the poet's mysterious and longstanding preoccupation with loss of life and grief
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Extra resources for Buried communities : Wordsworth and the bonds of mourning
All the same, “Ballad” attests to its author’s fascination with the motif of interminable grief. Behind Mary’s deathbed recollection of a prophecy that her “head would soon lie low” (42) are the dying words of Hawkshead master Taylor. 501–2). James Averill argues that Wordsworth interpolates Taylor’s prophetic words “to exploit their deep, if personal, emotional significance . . to endow a conventional and imitative fiction with tragic emotions” (PHS 43), much as the poet did with the story of Mary Rigge.
60 Although only thirteen at the time of his father’s death, Wordsworth had surely by then already heard talk of crisis—of rioting, at least—and of desire for reform, even for those more radical changes inspired by events in America. One wonders whether Dorothy, for her part, would have voiced matters 16 Introduction in quite the terms she did about “the cruel Hand of lordly Tyranny” had there not existed a climate of class tension and of concerns about the social, political, and economic arrangement of things.
Nor did my little heart foresee —She lost a home in losing thee[;] Nor did it know—of thee bereft That little more than Heav’n was left. (286–95) The speaker’s remembrance of the events preceding and following the loss of his father elicits tears that “ease” the “mighty debt of Grief ” he feels.