Wordsworth: The Tables Turned

Yesterday was not a good day for me. My research has not been going very well… mostly because I have a vast amount of material and don’t quite know how to deal with it (I think I am getting somewhere now though). I had a long meeting with my supervisor who advised me to take some time off, get some perspective and come back to it. Thus, spending a night in the flat with nothing do… I cracked open a bottle of beer and picked up my William Wordsworth – Selected Poems which I very occasionally dip into.

If I believed in fate, I would say that it was fate that had me turn quickly to this one. It most surely spoke to my current situation… one of the few times that this has happened. Sometimes it is too easy to get bogged down in books (and rightly so, sometimes) and not appreciate the world around us. I give you… The Tables 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.

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About Chris

Scholar of religion/nonreligion... PhD Student (Lancaster University), blogger, singer, actor, thinker... Northern Irish living in Scotland. Co-founder of The Religious Studies Project. Director at the NSRN. Baritone masquerading as a tenor. Vegetarian for no particular reason.

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