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The Influence of Nature in “Tintern Abbey”

In “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey,” William Wordsworth explains the impact of Nature from Tintern Abbey in his every day life. “Tintern Abbey” shows the great importance of nature to Wordsworth in his writings, love for life, and religion. The memories he has of Tintern Abbey make even the darkest days full of light.

As a result of Wordsworth’s many memories of Tintern Abbey, his life appears to be happy. The recollection of Tintern Abbey influences Wordsworth to acts of kindness and love. Likewise, Wordsworth is influenced from the natural surroundings of Tintern Abbey. Bloom said, “The poet loves nature for its own sake alone, and the presence of nature gives beauty to the poets mind…” (Bloom Poetry 409). Nature inspires Wordsworth poetically. Nature gives a landscape of seclusion that implies a deepening of the mood of seclusion in Wordsworth’s mind. This helps Wordsworth become inspired in his writings while at the same time he is inspired in his heart (Bloom Nineteenth 468).

As a result of the affection Wordsworth feels towards Nature, he speaks passionately about his feelings in “Tintern Abbey.” Often, Wordsworth uses Tintern Abbey’s Nature as a healer to his daily mishaps. “Away from the landscape he now rejoins, the poet had not forgotten it, but indeed had owed to memories of its sensations sweet, felt in hours of urban weariness, and therapeutic of the lonely ills he has experienced,” writes Bloom. In spirit, Wordsworth claims that he returns to Tintern Abbey when all is not well. The portrait of Nature in Wordsworth’s mind assures him that all will be well in the future if he keeps the memory of Tintern Abbey alive (Bloom Nineteenth 469). Bloom also writes that only Nature has the privilege of leading us from joy to joy; we have to wait upon her, brood on past joys, and have faith that she will not abandon hearts that have loved her. Likewise, that is the philosophy that Wordsworth lives by. Wordsworth’s love of Nature at Tintern Abbey gives him a sensation that he recognizes as a part of his own soul (Bloom Poetry 412).

Nonetheless, Wordsworth speaks of the Nature at Tintern Abbey like a religion. He says that Nature is the guide and guardian of his heart and soul. Selincourt writes, “In the highest mood of ecstasy this consciousness of complete oneness with God [Nature] is so overwhelming that his other attributes as man seem to fall from him…” (Selincourt 367). “Tintern Abbey” is significant because of the referring to Nature in terms strongly marked with a platonic deism. Beach explains that it is true that the main period of Wordsworth’s nature-poetry was least dominated by the theological doctrines of Christianity. Nature is now regarded to Wordsworth as a kind of substitute religion, which is called Naturalism. Wordsworth admits in “Tintern Abbey” that he is a worshiper of Nature. Wordsworth believes that Nature will not allow any evil to come to his cheerful faith (Beach 441).

Finally, the impact that Nature has on William Wordsworth completely reveals itself in “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.” Not only does Tintern Abbey’s Nature bring happiness to Wordsworth, it gives him a sublime creativeness as a poet that is throughout the whole poem.

Beach, Joseph Warren. “Tintern Abbey.” 1936. Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Cherie D. Abbey and Laurie Lanzen Harris. Vol. 12. Detroit: Gale Research Company Book Tower. 1986. 441.

Bloom, Harold. “Tintern Abbey.” 1971. Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Cherie D. Abbey and Laurie Lanzen Harris. Vol. 12. Detroit: Gale Research

Company Book Tower. 1986. 468-470.

Bloom, Harold. “Tintern Abbey.” 1961. Poetry Criticism. Ed. Robyn V. Young. Vol. 4. Detroit: Gale Research. 1992. 409-412.

Selincourt, Ernest de. “Tintern Abbey.” 1926. Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism. Ed. Joan Cerrito. Vol. 38. Detroit: Gale Research Inc. 1993. 366- 367.

Wordsworth, William. “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.” Adventures in English Literature. Orlando: Harcourt Brace Jonanovich, Inc. 1985. 475-479.


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