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“My heart leaps up when I behold”, by William Wordsworth

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  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 665
  • Category: Poems

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In this very short poem, “My heart leaps up when I behold”, by William Wordsworth, the speaker begins by declaring that he is moved by nature, and especially by nature’s beauty and how he is excited when he sees the rainbow. He feels so excited inside his heart when he sees a beautiful rainbow in the sky. This is a very romantic poem in both form and structure of the poem itself. The format of the poem gives an excited feeling about human nature and forces the reader to pause at important points in the poem and think about each stanza carefully. For instance, the first two short lines of the poem are both significant and show romantic experience. In these opening lines he states, “My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky” (line 1-2). Here the speaker is telling the reader of an experience that he feels when he gazes at the sky seeing a rainbow. “My Heart Leaps Up” embodies the following Romantic themes: nature, joy toward childhood, and bond to nature.

The poet needs nature in order to feel his existence in life. The speaker explains his connection to nature, stating that it has been strong throughout his life. He even goes so far that if he loses connection with nature he would prefer to die. One would believe that he would rather die if he loses connection with nature because he would feel empty, if nature, like a rainbow, would vanish. Nature and its beauty are what give meaning to his life. Without it, then he would think that he is nothing. First, “A rainbow in the sky” shows his bond and foreshadows the speaker’s wish to be “Bound by natural piety.” Wordsworth states “My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky” (line1-2). It shows how he feels excited when he beholds a rainbow in the sky. Obviously he is expresses the joy that is in his heart as he gazes toward the sky, looking at the rainbow.

The feeling of joy for the poet is introduced in line two by the rainbow. The rainbow is a wonderful image to see and shows a lot of beauty to the speaker and reader. It is almost like a stairway to heaven. It might well symbolize that bond one feels with God when in a state of joy. This joy creates a precious and exhilarating state. Wordsworth states, “The child is father of the man” (line7). The speaker believes that children are closer to heaven and God because they came from the arms of God. Surely, the speaker understands the importance of staying connected to one’s own childhood. The quote states that he is learning from his child.

The speaker is bonding with nature. It is the only thing that keeps him strong and alive. Without it, he would be lonely in life. He needs nature in order to be able to move forward in life. He experiences the images he sees like kids experience the wonder of a rainbow. It states “and I could wish my days to be bound each to each by natural piety” (line8-9). It shows that he wishes that this nature continues to be by his side forever. Surely the speaker is bonded with nature as if it were his life.

To clarify, the poet is moved by nature and by natural beauty. He even mentions that he would rather die if he lost nature or was not connected to it. The rainbow reflects the beauty of nature that the poet experienced. It is like the rainbow is destined to create joy. When the poet refers to the child, he demonstrates how he is learning from the child. The poet seems to be bound to nature because he needs it in order to not be empty hearted. Without it, he would lose connection to all the nature he sees and feels. Word Count 675

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