William Wordsworth is an iconic figure in the literature world. He contributed by enriching poetry with a unique poetic language that was spoken by "real men." Most notably was his contribution to romanticism by breaking away from the classical writing style. He explained that a poem symbolized the flow of emotions. At the time of composing this poem, the author had lost her mother at a tender age and he grew up with a very small contact with his guardian who happened to be his father. In his poem, "we are seven," it stages a dialogue between Wordsworth and a young girl who has lost two of her siblings and she was left with his mother and four other siblings (Damrosch and Dettmar 56). The author clearly states that two of the remaining siblings to the girl had left for Conway. The girl narrates of her family and tries to convince the author that there are seven siblings in total. The poem seems to be tied more to the life experience of Wordsworth when he was young. The author tries to show the reader that this girl actually has a similar life to the one he faced while he was young. The girl tells Wordsworth that two of her siblings were far away from home. While at a tender age, William Wordsworth also sent away far from his sister. Therefore, we can assert that the author has employed Wordsworth life experiences to compose this poem.
All events seem to coincide with what he went through from his school life to marrying and losing his children later on in life. The author's narration evinces the trauma, ignorant inconspicuousness and nuanced perplexity that someone may undergo at childhood for losing a relative or a sibling. The reader of this poem is able to examine the deaths interlocutor's conception as seen to be felt by the young girl (Russett 345). It's evident that the poem has sixteen stanzas each with four lines. However, the last stanza has got five lines. We have a rhyming pattern known as 'abab' which can be traced in each stanza. The author has defined the characters of this poem to comprise of seven siblings. The poem starts with a question where the author asks what such a young girl knows about death. Here, the reader can relate and acknowledge that the girl seems to know what death is and she is in denial about it (Damrosch and Dettmar 56). Here, we are able to see that death has deprived the girl two of her siblings. As the author surmises the poem, we are able to attest that the girl knows more about life and the agony brought about by death and that we should not be incapacitated by grief.
A theme of youth and innocence can be seen in the entire poem. Wordsworth tries to convince the girl that she has does not have seven siblings since two are dead and are gone. The girl doesn't agree with him and keeps on telling Wordsworth that she has seven siblings and only two are dead. She says though they are seven, she can feel them from the grave. This shows that the girl is innocent and does not want to deviate from her belief. The theme of nature is evident as William Wordsworth believes in nature that when someone dies, they are nowhere to be seen and they are gone forever. A theme of life and death is seen from the poem. The author lost his mother and father when he was growing up. After marrying, he also lost two of his children. The author also indicates that the girl narrates how death deprived her sister and brother. The two contexts are agonizing to both characters. However, they accepted the incidents and moved on to a happy life where they are not agonizing anymore (Wordsworth and Curtis 36). The theme of life and death brings out a sad tone.
Symbolism has been employed with the poem. As we go through the events that have happened within this setting, we are able to assert that both the girl and Wordsworth suffered similar tragedies. The girl lost his two siblings while she was eight. This poem definitely symbolizes the younger version of Wordsworth life. Though there is no explicitly mentioning of the actual setting, we are able to comment that the setting of the poem is at a British country. Within the poem, the author says that the girl is from a cottage that is located some yards away from a churchyard. This enables the reader to picture the vicinity to contain some hills and forests where graves are also not far. Therefore, we expect Wordsworth to live near the home of the girl in the context. Wordsworth is believed to employ ballads within his work during the romanticism period (Russett 345). This is whereby the author narrates stories in form of verses. Therefore, this poem fits well to be in a ballad form. As we go through each stanza and from line to the other, we find that the poem has a regular meter. A regular and alternating meter usually creates the rhythm of the poem. As we look closely in the tenth stanza, it is evident that the poet has employed alliteration within the poem hence creating the sound of the poem.
As narrated by the author, the plot of this poem can be said to be in the countryside. Wordsworth wanted to ensure that the reader is able to contemplate the real-life issues. Some people usually take long to understand and come into agreement that their deceased are no longer with us. The girl keeps on telling Wordsworth that they are seven siblings (Wordsworth and Curtis 38). However, some people easily understand death and come into agreement with it easily unlike others. The author has employed imagery within the poem. As the dialogue kicks off, we see Wordsworth explaining how the girl looks like. Here, the reader is able to visualize how the girl looks like. There are also some metaphors being employed. For example, the author talks of green graves as they are defined to represent death. Various rhetorical questions have been employed to enhance the style of the poem without forgetting the various repetitions. Some phrases are being repeated by Wordsworth as he talks with the girl. This one is said to enhance emphasis within the poem. The girl also repeats her words to try to convince Wordsworth that they are indeed seven siblings. Therefore, we can conclude that the poem has employed the poetic styles to convey the necessary information to the reader.
Damrosch, David, and Kevin J. H Dettmar. The Longman Anthology Of British Literature. Pearson Longman, 2006.
Russett, Margaret. "Wordsworth's Gothic Interpreter: De Quincey Personifies "We Are Seven." Studies In Romanticism, vol 30, no. 3, 1991, p. 345. JSTOR, Doi:10.2307/25600906.
Wordsworth, William, and Jared R Curtis. The Poems Of William Wordsworth. Humanities-Ebooks, 2009.
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