ICSE Class 8 -English poem– Lines Written in Early Spring –Explanation

Lines Written in Early Spring
by William Wordsworth

A word about the poet .. William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was an ardent lover of Nature. All his life, he remained an avid admirer of the myriad ways Nature unfolds her beauty. He used to go on long walks to leisurely see the woods, plants, flowers and the birds. From these small innocuous things, he drew great pleasure and happiness. He believed that the invigorating value of Nature for a tired, restless mind was invaluable. Almost all his poems are written in simple words, so that the common folks could understand them and appreciate the value of Nature as a soothing balm for the human mind jarred by worldly tensions.
The poem …
First and second stanza .. I heard a thousand ……..to the mind

and

To her fair works …… made of man

Meaning .. The poet sat relaxed under a tree hearing the many sounds of Nature like the chirping of birds, rustling of leaves etc. His mind enjoys a typical bliss that rekindles noble thoughts in him. But, in the next moment, he thinks of the many awful things that besmirch the world – the greed, jealousy, feuds, acrimony, revenge etc. He wonders why, with access to such benign Nature, and its soothing power, people indulge in unsavoury and toxic thoughts and actions. He bemoans the fact that people choose to ignore the pervasive emollient influence of Nature, people fall prey to evil tendencies.

Third and fourth stanza ..
Through primrose ……. It breathes
&
The birds around ……thrill of pleasure
Meaning … The poet feasts his eyes with the beautiful yellowish primrose tufts and the blue periwinkle flowers that blossom in early spring. He is bewitched at their sight, their freshness, innocence and tenderness. He feels that these pristine gifts of Nature must grow and thrive in pure and fresh air, unsullied by any pollutant.
The poet looks at the birds jumping from one branch to another. They look so innocent, and benign. They cause no harm to anyone. Instead, they add a sense of intrigue and bewilderment to the poet’s mind. He can’t figure out what is there in their mind, but every little hop they make fills the poet’s mind with great pleasure.

Fifth and sixth stanza …
The budding twigs spread ….. … pleasure there
&
If this belief …… made of man
Meaning .. The trees begin to bear new leaves. Tender twigs emerge out of the branches, and tiny leaves appear on them. It’s such a pleasant and refreshing sight. It fills the onlooker’s mind with hope, bliss, and fulfillment. The poet is overwhelmed with happiness. He wishes that the newly emerging leaves spend their lives on the tree with happiness. In other words, the poet’s mind is gripped by a desire for universal well-being.
The poet clearly sees the benign hand of Heaven behind all these tender and beautiful creations of Nature. He feels that the God had wanted the world to be equally pure, blissful, and kind. However, the hard realities shatter him. When he sees the endless strife, discord, exploitation all around unleashed by man, he relapses into doom and despair. He is exasperated and broken to see the sullied world around him.
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    • Questions for
      Lines Written in Early Spring
      by
      William Wordsworth

      Short questions..
      1. Where is the poet (William Wordsworth) sitting?
      2. What does he see and hear that makes him so joyful?
      3. What thoughts come to his mind to make him so perplexed?
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      4. On seeing the primrose and periwinkle flowers, what thought grip his mind? What he wishes for the flowers?
      5. Does the poet try to read the mind and intent of the hopping birds? Does he succeed in his quest? What feelings the tiny birds trigger in his mind?
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      6. On seeing the tender new leaves coming ut of the twigs, what feelings flood his mind? What does he wish for the leaves?
      7. In the next moment, the poet’s mind becomes sullen, and gloomy. Why such a drastic change happes to him?
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      Long questions..
      1. Is Nature always benign and beautiful? Does it show its angry face at times?
      2. Do you think humans, despite centuries of philosophical pursuit, have failed to appreciate the bounty of Nature and modify their behavior accordingly? Discuss.

      Reply
          • I heard a thousand blended notes,
            While in a grove I sate reclined,
            In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts
            Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

            Blended notes .. Beautifully arranged notes /sounds. Here, the arrangement has been done by Nature, The notes are coming from the flora and fauna of Earth.
            Grove .. It’s a small forest or a bunch of trees.
            Reclined.. Lying slightly backwards so as to be comfortable.

            To her fair works did Nature link
            The human soul that through me ran;
            And much it grieved my heart to think
            What man has made of man.

            Grieved my heart to think .. It means, “Felt very sad thinking about a certain matter.”
            Man has made of man .. It’s poet’s despair at the way humans have degraded the earth’s environment through misuse and exploitation.

            Through primrose tufts, in that green bower,
            The periwinkle trailed its wreaths;
            And ’tis my faith that every flower
            Enjoys the air it breathes.

            Primerose tufts .. It means a bunch of primerose flowers. These flowers are yellow in colour.
            Green bower .. It’s a pleasant shady place to rest and pass time.

            The birds around me hopped and played,
            Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
            But the least motion which they made
            It seemed a thrill of pleasure.

            The budding twigs spread out their fan,
            To catch the breezy air;
            And I must think, do all I can,
            That there was pleasure there.

            Budding twigs .. These are initial outgrowths of a growing plant’s stems.

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