The poet assigns the role of transformation from adolescence to maturity to nature and cites circumstances to show the impact on his young mind. ‘ The Stolen Boat’ is one such creation where the poet talks about himself as a young boy who steals a boat in the night. The scary cliff looms dark and large before him. This reminds the poet of his act of stealth and guilt. This is a single verse, 44-line poem. The following lines reveal his state of mind affected deeply by nature: “ Of sea or sky, no colors of green fields; But huge and mighty forms, that do not liveLike living men moved slowly through the mindBy day, and were a trouble to my dreams” (Wordsworth and Morley, 274)Unfathomable perception and inexplicable sense of fear troubled the innocent mind of the young boy.
The situation conveyed in the Stolen Boat may be described as, “ a disquietude, an intimation of uncanny threat… .projections of guilt, evoke the horror of death… retain a psychological ambivalence and mystery” (Ulmer, 53) The otherwise harmless objects of nature surrounding him remind him of his act of stealth.
Even the simple objects seem to gain a different shape and the poet acknowledges nature to be the cause of this transformation. The little adventure of the poet turned out to be an important lesson which would help him mature in the years to come. Nature has directed him to his thoughts and aroused his conscience. William Wordsworth has played a great role in romanticizing the poetry. He has set some ideas which have imparted a romantic lens to his critics while viewing his works. While comparing the two poems, we may find that both have imparted some lessons to the poet.
Nature is a living being in the opinion of Wordsworth who practically lives and thinks with the help of the feelings generated by the elements of nature. While in the first poem the poet concentrates specifically on the flower itself, ‘ The Stolen Boat’ is a part of the Prelude to his Autobiography.
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