This poem, 'Lucy Gray,' was written after his other "Lucy" poems and is not frequently paired with them. Critics have been unable to reach a definitive conclusion on Lucy's identity, and those who know Wordsworth well believe that he was evasive when asked about her. Some think that she may have been his sister, others speculate that she may have been one of his many love interests. The only certainty is that she has become part of literary history.
Wordsworth began writing 'Lucy Gray' in 1798 when he was 25 years old. It was first published in 1799, just two years after it was written. He sent a copy to Thomas Clarkson, an influential abolitionist who had recently returned from America where he had met with John Adams and other leaders to discuss ways to improve slavery. Clarkson replied by letter that he thought the poem was very good but wondered if there wasn't another poet living in the Lake District named William Wordsworth. Wordsworth agreed to send more poems but never did so. Many critics believe that this incident is what caused him to withdraw from public life for several years so that he could focus on his work.
In 1807, at the age of 38, he returned to London where he had been invited to give readings from his recent poetry collection. One of these readings was held at a large social event called a "party" where people would dance until dawn.
Little Lucy Gray gets lost in a snowstorm after setting out with a lamp to meet her mother and lead her way home from town. Wordsworth's poem is a lyrical ballad in sixteen stanzas about a small girl who goes lost amid the gray sky and white snow-covered ground. The girl is looking for her home but does not know how to get there so she asks strangers for help. None of them knows where she could be so they tell her to wait until morning when more people will be able to help her.
As night falls upon the world, little Lucy becomes more anxious because she cannot sleep. She sings under her breath as she walks along trying to find someone who can help her. But no one answers her call and soon she grows cold and tired. Then suddenly she sees a light coming from a distance and runs towards it. When she reaches the house, she finds two good souls who take care of her during their evening meal time. After they go to bed, she looks around the room and notices that all the doors are open. So she decides to go outside to see what lies beyond. Before she leaves, Little Lucy whispers a prayer to God asking him to protect those who saved her life. Then she slips into unconsciousness...
In the morning when everyone wakes up, they search for little Lucy but cannot find any trace of her. Later on, they realize that she must have gone back to Heaven because she had peace about her.
Nature and the death of a loved one are two of Wordsworth's key themes throughout the poem. Lucy not only lives on the moors away from society, but she also treks through the countryside. People say to hear her cheerfully whistling on her way to town, implying that she appreciates nature. Also, when she is killed by lightning, it is considered an accident/casualty of nature, since she was not hurt doing anything wrong.
The main theme of the poem is love. It starts with Nature as the main character who is seeking love in return. When she finds William, he too returns her love. However, due to social norms at the time, they could not express their feelings physically until after they both died.
William and Lucy serve as examples of how two people can love each other even though they are from different societies. Even though they were not able to be together in life, they continue to love each other after they die. This shows that love is not just for humans; it can be found anywhere if you look hard enough.
Wordsworth addresses an idealized and unrequited love for Lucy, a young girl who died, in this series. The poem explores loneliness and grief, as well as unnoticed beauty and dignity. As a result, she dwelt. The fundamental topic of The Untrodden Ways is death, which is discussed and mourned throughout the poem. At first, Wordsworth focuses on Lucy's death but later extends his focus to include all those who have died, including himself.
He begins by describing how beautiful Lucy was, even though he had never seen another person: "Fair as an angel was/Lucy with her hair". Later, he says that no one seemed sorry when she died, not even herself: "No eye had wept for her, no heart had grieved;/Unchanged and cold she lay aloof from human care".
This description of uncaringness makes him wonder what kind of life she had before she died. Had she been happy or sad? He doesn't know but feels compelled to find out: "Thought upon thought, a multitude,/As if each mind alone could think,/Poured through my brain, while I stood still!/O! why did I not stay still?".
Wordsworth believed in the beauty of daily life and common experiences. He believed that poetry should appeal not only to scholars and intellectuals, but also to the general public. These principles ensure that Wordsworth's poetry remain relevant in today's culture.
His poems are applicable in today's world because they express beliefs that many people can relate to. For example, his poem "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey" expresses ideas about the transience of life that many people can identify with. The poem begins with the line "Two roads diverged before me, / And I – I took them both." This means that Wordsworth was forced to make a choice between two different paths, and he took them both. This shows that Wordsworth understood how difficult it was to make a choice and still be true to yourself.
He also believed that poetry could help people deal with their feelings. For example, one of his poems is called "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood". This poem helps people understand that even though we humans die, our souls will never perish. Our thoughts and memories will always live on after we leave this world because they're part of us forever.
Finally, Wordsworth believed that poetry could lead people to have better conversations.