Critical appreciation of the poem "She dwelt among the untrodden ways”.

"She dwelt among the untrodden ways" is a Lucy poem. The poem is a three-stanza poem written by the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth in 1798 and verse was first printed in Lyrical Ballads, 1800. In the opening stanza, he describes the innocence and purity of Lucy, in the second her beauty is described
and in the final stanza the poet laments her death.

The poem is written in the form of a lyric. It is a lyric with elegiac undertone. It has the characteristic of an elegy as in the poem the poet laments a person's death. It has also the characteristic of a ballad as the poem tells a bit of a story. The poem is emotional. The poet expresses personal experience. He shows his sorrow for the death of Lucy, the simple, rural girl. The poem also shows his subjective attitude towards the existence of the girl and her death. This poem is short and musical. The poem can be sung as it contains wany sound devices such as alliteration, assonance and sibilance.

The tone of the poem is sad and pathetic. The poet feels sorry and regretful as Lucy who is a symbol of nature is neglected by people. He also laments her death. Although her death means thing for many people, it has great effect on him. This enlarges his feeling of sorrow. He mourns her death that causes him pain and sorrow. This tone is seen through the word "oh" which expresses the poet's feeling of pain and grief. The word "cease" connotes mortality and death.

In the poem, the poet uses the typical ballad meter of iambic stressed/unstressed, in which the first and third lines typically have four stresses, and the second and fourth have three stresses. The rhyme scheme of the ballad is abab. But the poet slightly departs from the ballad rhyme. It follows the pattern abab, abcb, abab. There is a break in the second stanza. The word "one" in the third line of the second stanza does not perfectly rhyme with "stone" in the first line. He breaks the monotony of regular rhyme scheme. The irregular rhyme scheme reflects the sad mood of the poet.

In the poem, Wordsworth uses figures of speech such as metaphor, simile and imagery. He provides the reader with a visual image when he says that Lucy lives beside the springs of Dove. We again find an image of Lucy when she is compared to a violet covered with a mossy stone. This shows that Lucy's beauty is concealed in this place. In the poem we find another image of Lucy's beauty when the poet says she is as 'fair as a star". The poet likens Lucy to a star which sparkles alone in the sky. This image reflects the charm and the uniqueness of Lucy's beauty.

The poet uses simple language to convey his idea. The words "untrodden", "maid", "none", "few" and "hidden" show Lucy's loneliness and isolation. The words "Beside" and "springs" show that she is part and parcel of nature. The words "violet", "fair" and "shinning" help the reader to visualize the beauty of Lucy that is unique and rare. The word "ceased" and "grave” shows her death. The word "oh" connotes pain and grief. The word “difference” sheds light on the contrast between the people's attitude towards her death and his sorrow for this loss.

His purpose in writing this poem seems to be twofold. One purpose is to lament the loss of nature and the other is to lament for the people who go through life unnoticed and unappreciated.

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