She played a significant role in poet’s life as a silent listener, friend, inspirer, and traveling partner.
After their mother’s death, Dorothy and Wordsworth were separated and educated in different parts of England.
When seeking comfort from the “darkness,” “many shapes of joyless daylight,” and fever of the world” (“Tintern Abbey” 50-56), Wordsworth turns to his memories of the Wye landscape and the comfort it provided him while there: “How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee, / O Sylvan Wye! The landscape reignites his “unremembered pleasure”—the comfort he found in it (“Tintern Abbey” 31).
The comfort and memories are “Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; / And [pass] even into my purer mind, / With tranquil restoration” (“Tintern Abbey” 28-30).
BIOGRAPHY A major English Romantic poet, William Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770 in the small town of Cockermouth on the northern border of the English Lake District, a quiet, natural refuge that would later inspire his poetry.
His only sister, Dorothy Wordsworth, was born in 1771.Writing “Tintern Abbey” five years later, he comments on how the valley now offers a comforting and sobering welcome that allows him to meditate on “the still, sad, music of humanity” (Tintern Abbey 89-91).Even when Wordsworth is not physically present in the valley landscape, the memories of the geography and topography, as well as the feelings of comfort elicited by them are present in his mind.TEXTUAL ANALYSIS Nature As a nature poet, Wordsworth turned to nature for comfort.However, nature did not only provide him comfort while he was on his walking tour, but also in his mind.Throughout “Tintern Abbey,” Wordsworth recounts how the Wye valley was a place of comfort and solace for him throughout each stage of his life.He particularly recalls how the Wye valley functioned as his sanctuary when he was “flying from something he dreads”(Tintern Abbey 70-71) —likely after his tumultuous experiences in France in 1793.After completing his undergraduate education at Cambridge (1791), he became a fervent supporter of French Revolution in France, fell in love with Annette Vallon, and fathered an illegitimate child in 1792.After he was forced out of France by the war, Wordsworth visited Tintern Abbey for the first time in 1793.The emergence of travel literature also played a significant role in late 18 century British travel.This thriving tourism culture inspired Wordsworth’s visit to Tintern Abbey.