Friday, June 20, 2014

The Table Turned

Lately, I've been busy. Most recently, our basement flooded, and so we've been ripping out carpet, taking down wallpaper, etc. Plus, we've had tons of end-of-the-school-year stuff, dance recitals, actual paid work, etc.

To recharge from the stress of the day, I've been reading poetry at night, and I've discovered that I love Wordsworth. This has come as pleasant surprise. The last time I read any of his stuff must have been a score (a literal score) of years ago. At the time, I just couldn't get into him. In fact, with the exception of Byron, I couldn't bear any poetry from the late 1600's to the 1800's.

Tastes change, though, and I'm really digging Wordsworth now. The following poem, in particular, is one that speaks to me. Apparently, it was a great favorite with Quakers, too, though that tidbit has no bearing on anything.

The Table Turned
Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you'll grow double:
 Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
 Why all this toil and trouble?

The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

 Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.

 And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
 He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless--
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:--
We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.

William Wordsworth

I thought about offering commentary, but it seemed too close to "meddling intellect misshap[ing] the beauteous forms of things." Instead, I'll just let you enjoy it on your own and glean from it what you will.
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