"Childhood" Voiced in the Ode ‘Intimation of Immortality’
William Wordsworth is truly a great lover of nature in all its forms. It has remained his main theme and allowed him to explain his inner feelings. He has composed several poems about childhood, but this poem is known as one of the best poems. It was completed in 1804 and published in poems, in two volumes in 1807. It consists of eleven stanzas that are divided into three parts. His first part is related to childhood and the second part to his adulthood or manhood, where he spends more time to follow worldly thoughts. Its third part describes a positive response to the problem of the loss of nature.
In this poem, William Wordsworth talks about his childhood. He describes it as a double vision of childhood. According to him, one is that of childhood and the other is the childhood that we carry inside as a memory. Alec King further describes this double vision as visible childhood and invisible childhood. Its first four stanzas describe childhood and its connection with nature. In this age, the child has the ability to see the divine glory of nature. He calls the boy a great philosopher because of his pre-existing memory. According to Alec King, the soul enters human life at our birth as an episode in its immortal life. He is exiled for a time from his divine abode, but in his early years he does not forget his abode or the divine light that is his source or company. That is why it is attached to nature. All things like meadows, streams, land, rainbows, flowers, sky, stars and sun shine, everything looks beautiful and attractive. Stay in their company and enjoy divine glory. The poet accepts that all natural objects from when he was a child, but now they seem different to him. Alec King calls it a visible childhood that is attached to nature. Simultaneously, the poet calls it the first vision of childhood.
The other is the invisible childhood. William Wordsworth calls it the other vision of childhood. Here the child becomes the father of the man. Its main reason is that the child remains in a state of innocence and enjoys a heavenly or divine vision. His journey to the state of man vanishes the first vision. He is a grown man and his penchant is too much for worldly things. In him, visible childhood is deaf and silent. When you feel that nature seems dull, you get discouraged. Hear the song of the birds in spring; he watches the leaping and leaping lambs and the gusts of wind, but he does not find the joy of childhood. He finds that the whole earth is very happy and, around him, there is a joyous party. His heart also wants to participate in it to play and laugh among the flowers, but everything seems different to him because he has lost his visible childhood.
In his opinion, human life is simply a dream and an oblivion. Before entering the earth, his life was more pure and glorious because heaven or divine vision is found in childhood. During childhood, his memory and magic about that place were alive, but as this childhood was transferred to adulthood, all magic died. He calls it the conspiracy of worldly pleasures that help to forget the glories. It is the attraction of such a conspiracy that worries the poet. William Wordsworth looks at a six-year-old boy and imagines his life racing toward adulthood. He thinks that adult life consists of worldly pleasures, festivals, weddings, sorrows, and funerals. He speaks to the boy as a powerful prophet and acquaints him with the lost truth. He also pursues him so that he does not rush into an adult life of worldly customs and problems.
Now the poet goes to the philosophical point. He recognizes that he has a very different faculty. In his faculty, visible childhood is alive because his memories are enriched with the joy of nature. It is always with him and emits the approach to the lost world of nature, innocence and exploration. That vision bounces him back by bringing him the joy of nature, and for that reason, he urges the birds to sing and then all the creatures to participate in the joy of the morning of May. He confesses that the materialistic world has affected some parts of the glory of nature and experience, but has given him a mature consciousness or a philosophical mind. Such a conscience or philosophical mind makes the child the father of man.
It means that dual vision has allowed you to love nature and natural beauty. Now you can discover unique thoughts of natural things that will stay alive or with you until death. It is your memory or consciousness that connects you with childhood and nature. In fact, he is right because his life and work are an outstanding example of this.