Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Reflections on Today's Class

After our class today I really began to think about the purpose of poetry and the way authors intended their writing to be read.

After reading the poem 4 times, I have come to the conclusion that many of the statements made in class today were products of superficial interpretations of the text. Wordsworth wanted his audience to read the text literally, but this does not detract from the necessity to read into the deeper meanings embedding within the text. I believe Wordsworth was discussing physical nature throughout his entire poem, I don't see any text that points to nature being a metaphor for a larger idea.

It also seems to me that we tended to jump to the conclusion that Wordsworth was angry at his corruption through his loss of his childhood outlook on nature. Again, I don't really see any evidence in the text to support this claim. Rather it seems that he is content with his new perspective on nature. He is now able to see the deeper purpose and benefits of nature. Instead of losing a connection with nature, Wordsworth has actually just developed a different, more mature relationship.

It's important that we remember not in interject our own assumptions into the text. We can only base our conclusions on the evidence we have in front of us. It is true that there are historical clues that can help us speculate some of the author's motives, but it can never be more than speculation. Conclusion need to have textual support to hold any validity.

I didn't mean to rant but I'm worried we may lose some of the integrity of our discussion if we continue to fail to properly support our assumptions and conclusions.

No comments: