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Looking At Skating By William Wordsworth

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 733 words Published: 28th Apr 2017

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The poem skating is very much a lyrical poem as the poet expresses personal and emotional feelings, in this case he is expressing feelings of when he was a child and expresses the emotions that he felt when he was a young boy skating with other children as in the poem he says, “it was indeed for all of us- for me it was a time of rapture! Clear and loud” which expresses his emotion of extreme happiness as well as shows that’s he is sharing it with other children.

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The poem means that William Wordsworth loved skating and loved nature when he was young as he says, “We hissed along the polished ice in games Confederate, imitative of the chase And woodland pleasures, – the resounding horn,” The meaning of the poem is expressed symbolically because most of what he says is a symbol to the real meaning of the poem for example when he says “Glanced sideways, leaving the tumultuous throng” this is a symbol for how he always feels the need to leave his companion.

I think that the poets intention of writing the poem was to express the way he felt about skating and nature when he was a child which leads to the theme of the poem which is the beauties of nature which is emphasised by when he says “Eastward were sparkling clear, and in the west The orange sky of evening died away” and the excitement of skating which is shown when he says “So through the darkness and the cold we flew,”

The mood of the poem is generally exciting as he conveys this feeling to us when he uses phrases like “We hissed along” and “sweeping through the darkness” which gives us the feeling of the excitement of the skating, alliterations in the poem like ” hunted hare” and “spinning still” help create this atmosphere of the poem. Sibilance is also used to help create the mood as in like 9 and 10 when the poet uses the ‘s’ sound 8 times which helps create the sound of when you are skating. The mood changes at the end as the mood changes from being exciting to a calm and peaceful mood when he takes a moment to stand and watch the beauty of nature when he says “And all the shadowy banks on either side” and as he stands there he expresses emotions of calmness as it says “Feeble and feebler, and I stood and watched Till all was tranquil as a dreamless sleep”.

The poet feels very excited about the ice skating as it says “for me it was a time of rapture!” in till the last few lines where he becomes tranquil and relaxed as he views the wonders of nature as he says “Till all was tranquil as a dreamless sleep”. The tone of the poem is very joyful and exciting as he is very excited and happy in most of the poem and he uses words that describe this such as “flew”, “rang”, “exulting”, “blazed” and “sparkling”. There is also some tone of awe for example when it says “as if the earth had rolled”.

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The poem gives you a few emotions and most of these emotions are good emotions like excitement, happiness and joy for the children skating and that they are having fun and skating together but at the end you feel sad for Wordsworth as he is lonely with no one near him just watching nature. The poem is overly sentimental because he is constantly using normal things to symbolise things that have sentimental value to him such as nature and companionship.

In the poem he uses various techniques one being diction where it would have been everyday language 200 years ago but now to us it seems very old fashioned. Another being imagery where he does not use metaphors or personifications but he does use a few similes one being “like an un-tired horse” which is comparing him to an un-tired horse using the words as or like. Another one is sound devices like when he continuously uses the sound ‘s’ across the poem to create the sound of skating while supports the meaning of skating. Another being rhythm where he uses the iambic pentameter to create flow and rhythm in the poem and he does not use too many fill stops which also helps create flow in the poem. And the last one is rhyme where he doesn’t use a regular rhyme scheme as none of the lines rhyme, it is a blank verse


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