A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal
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The Meaning of “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal”
Usually any writing on the topic of death, from a novel, to a newspaper article, is written in a negative light. But an eight line poem written by William Wordsworth titled, “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” shows death in a positive light. Even during one of the most depressing types of deaths, the death of a loved one, the mourner of this poem finds the positive aspects of his lost.
The poem is divided into two stanzas. The first stanza merely states the obvious, the fact that his sweetheart is now dead. The first line of the poem is confirmation of this fact, his sweetheart is his spirit, and now his spirit is sealed in slumber, in other words, dead. But the fact that the poet chose the word seal to describe the death suggests that even though she is dead she will always be sealed within is heart. The second line gives the reader a glimpse into his view of death. The writer had no “human fears” which implies that he did not fear what humans feared, which is death. He is stating that he does not fear death. The next two lines describe her condition. She can no longer age because she is now dead. But the word
earthly implies that she can no longer feel the touch of nature aging. The use of the word earthly also uncovers the mourner’s view of death as being merely a part of nature. The adjectives in front of the rhyming words fears and years in Lines 2 and 4 place a significance on the meanings of those lines. These words show that the mourner’s view of death is the same as nature’s view of death and different from a human’s view of death. Nature does not fear death; it uses death as a tool to grow, whereas humans view death as being finality, the ending of a life, not continuing to add to the growth of anything.
The next stanza depicts his beloved’s current position. Lines 5 and 6 describe the things that his love is no longer able to do. The negation ...
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