In this romantic poem “My heart leaps up when I behold”, Poet William Wordsworth recollects an experience of his childhood days. The poet presents the continuation of life and nature through unending time i.e. past present and future. Wordsworth is the lover and worshiper of nature. For him, nature is both god and religion. In this poem, he presents the reality of human life. Even he shows a deep respect to nature by wishing his days to be bonded with the gift of nature.
The poets says that his heart leaps up with great happiness and joy when he sees a beautiful rainbow in the sky. Here the rainbow symbolizes the continuation of nature and the colorful human life. The rainbow was there when the poet was born and he still sees the rainbow in the sky when he has become a perfect and matured man. The rainbow will be certainly there when the poet grows old. The poet wants to say that the present is outcome (result) of past and naturally future will be the outcome of the present. Thus, time and nature are continuous and unending. Is there is any break in this continuation, the poet want to die. This shows that the death is inevitable.
Important Questions and Answers:
a. Write in one sentence what the poem is about.
Ans: The poem is about the poet’s recollection of his childhood experiences which become a sourse of joy when a person becomes matured or old.
b. Explain the paradox “A child is the father of man”.
Ans: In a normal sense the above statement suggests very unusual meaning. A child cannot give birth to a man. Therefore this statement is paradoxical. But the statement conveys very different meaning. The poet mean to say that the life begins from childhood and present is the outcome of the past, so naturally future will be the outcome of the present. In other words, childhood experiences affect the person when he becomes old. So, a child is a father of man suggests very different meaning from usual one.
c. What does the poet mean by “Natural piety”?
Ans: Piety means a strong belief in god or a particular religion. Nature, for him is a guide to wisdom, source of life and inspiration. He thus, worships love and respects the nature.