Monday, March 1, 2010

The Two April Mornings: Inevitability of Memory

In Wordsworth's poem, "The Two April Mornings," I loved the parallel between the two days and the two daughters. First, as the two men are walking along at the beginning of the poem, one stops and says "The will of God be done!" and remarks about how the colors of the sky on this morning looked so alike to another day he remembered from his past. On the day in the past, he was visiting his daughter's grave when he came upon the figure of another young girl, who was beautiful and happy and alive.

The parallel between these two events is as follows: the bright sunrise vs. the sunrise of the day he visited the graveyard, the young girl vs. his own dead daughter who had just recently died. The parallel works to bring about the main idea in the poem: the fact that memory is inescapable, and that something will always trigger what we have attempted to forget.

I thought the scene in the graveyard is particularly powerful because I feel like he stares at the girl a long time because he subconsciously thinks about replacing his own daughter with the other little girl ("I looked at her and look'd again.") Then, once he realizes what he is thinking, he immediately rejects the idea and says "And did not wish her mine." He realizes that there is no way you can replace something you've lost, no matter how much you wish it to be so, but you still have to live with repeating what you have lost over and over again in your head.

In the last stanza, the author talks about how the man is now dead, but it is almost as if he can still see him standing with a "bough/Of wilding in his hand." This poem is all about memories and the way we miss people once they are gone. It is about the impossibility of forgetting - and the sadness that comes with inevitable memory.

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