Poetry Friday: Lucy II by WIlliam Wordsworth

Posted by Sherry on 3/21/2014 in General, Poetry Project, Poets and poetry |

Lucy II

'Image taken from page 9 of 'The poetical works of William Wordsworth. Edited by William Knight'' photo (c) 2013, The British Library - license: http://www.flickr.com/commons/usage/SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:

A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and oh,
The difference to me!

The interesting thing about this poem to me is the check in the rhythm at the very end between the last two lines. I don’t remember the technical terms (iambic tetrameter, then iambic trimeter?), but the rhythm is very sing-song –until you try to read the last two lines. Then, you’re almost forced to make a long pause after the word “oh”, and then either pronounce the three syllables of the word “difference” very distinctly, not a normal pronunciation in current American speech anyway, or slow the entire last line of the poem down and emphasize its importance and emotional impact.

Anyway, I like the picture of unheralded, little noticed Lucy, whomever she was, who made such a difference in the poet’s life that she has been immortalized in verse.

Today’s Poetry Friday Round-up is hosted by Julie at The Drift Record.

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1 Comment

  • What a lovely poem. Some of my students bring in bits of Wordsworth from their nineteenth century poetry classes over to my Children’s Literature, but I never encountered Lucy. I suppose it was a common enough name, but I wonder if this one seeped into C.S. Lewis as he created Narnia?

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