Rabu, 04 Juli 2012

An Analysis of Meaning of Wordsworth’s Poem Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known



An Analysis of Meaning of Wordsworth’s Poem Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known


Hiqma Nur Agustina, SS, M. Hum, M. Si.
Dosen Tetap Pendidikan Bahasa Inggris FKIP UNIS – Tangerang


Abstrak

Pembahasan tentang puisi selalu menarik untuk dikaji. Beragam tema, pesan, gaya bahasa, nada, irama dan arti mewarnai sebuah puisi. Tulisan singkat ini mengetengahkan puisi William Wordsworth yang bertajuk Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known, dengan gaya penyampaian yang sederhana namun memiliki makna yang erat berkaitan dengan romantika percintaan yang menjadi santapan kita sehari-hari. Ada beberapa hal yang penulis kaji berkaitan dengan puisi ini untuk memberikan gambaran singkat tentang puisi Inggris ini dari segi interpretation, theme, image, tone, figurative language, rhythm dan meaning. Semoga tulisan ini mampu menggugah pembaca untuk bisa lebih memahami puisi dan memaknai setiap kata indah di dalamnya!


Key words: interpretation, theme, image, tone, figurative language, rhythm, meaning


I. Introduction
A. Background of study
            Poetry is a kind of language that says more and more intensely than ordinary language does. A poem is composed with the desire to communicate an experience especially one expressing deep feeling or noble thought in beautiful language.
            Poetry has a pattern that gives us pleasure as we listen to it. Poets repeat and echo sounds to please our ears. They also use these effects to hold our attention and mirror or reinforce the meaning word have rhythm or beat, as well as sound, and the rhythm of poetry is usually more regular than we hear in ordinary language. Often a poem is divided into sections of lines that follow the same pattern of sound and rhythm, so that we quickly learn the pattern as we read or listen, and enjoy knowing what to expect.
            The importance of poetry does not only lie on the pleasure it gives the readers when they read it or listen to it, but also on the value of life implied in it. Poetry has been regarded as something central to each man’s existence, something having unique value to fully realized life, something that he is better off for having and spiritually impoverished without (Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, p. 554).
            The Wordsworth’s poem Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known is chosen by the writer because this is a beautiful and interesting poem. Though this poem is very simple, it is an expression of one’s feeling and one’s experience. Through its simplicity there lies a precious life teaching.
            William Wordsworth, the poet of Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known is an English Romantic poet. He was born in Cockermouth Westmoreland. He grew up among the woods and lakes and mountains of the Wortwestern part of England. Therefore, all of his poems always describe natural scene. Wordsworth believed that nature is the great teacher of moral, and the prime bringer of happiness.
            William Wordsworth was a chief voice of new romantic movement. He laid down the new principles of Romantic poetry; those are:
1. The language of poetry is the language of ordinary men and women
2. Poetry is an expression of one own feeling
3. Nature is the source of beauty
4. Human mind is part of nature
            All William Wordsworth’s poem reflected all this principles. Some of his works are Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known, She Dwelled Among The Untrodden Ways, The Solitary Reaper, Lines Composed A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, It is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and  FreeA Poet’s Epitaph, and Matthew.

B. Problem Formulation
            This writing is going to analyze the meaning of the poem which is the basic life of teaching.

C. Objective of Study
            The meaning can be grasped through the theme, the image, the tone, the figurative language, and the rhythm of the poem.


D. Definition of Term
            The terms that are used in this writing are:
1.      Theme is the idea or thought that stays in our minds when we think about the meaning of the work as a whole (The Literary Heritage, p. 733).
2.      Tone is the writer’s or speaker’s attitude toward his subject, his audience, or himself (Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense, p. 702).
3.      Image is the representation through language of sense experience (Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense, p. 599).
4.      Figurative language
-          Simile:  a comparison using the words like or as. It says outright that something is like something else.
5.      Rhythm is systematical stressing or accenting words and syllables.

E. Urgency of Study
            The purpose of the writer analyzing the Wordsworth’s poem Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known are:
  1. To enrich the study of poem
  2. To grasp the life teaching of the poet that is expressed impliedly through the poem

II. Analysis
A. Poem

                                    STRANGE FITS OF PASSION HAVE I KNOWN

Strange fits of passion have I known:
And I will dare to tell,
But in the lover’s ear alone,
What once to me befell.

When She I loved looked every day
Fresh as a rose in June,
I to her cottage bent my way,
Beneath an evening moon.
Upon the moon I fixed my eye,
All over the wide lea;
With quickening pace my horse drew night
Those paths so dear to me.
And now we reached the orchard-plot;
And, as we climbed the hill,
The sinking moon to Lucy’s cot
Came dear, and nearer still

In one of those sweet dreams I slept,
Kind Nature’s gentlest boon!
And all the while my eyes I kept
On the descending moon.

My horse moved on; hoof after hoof
He raised, and never stopped:
When down behind the cottage roof,
At once, the bright moon dropped.

What fond and wayward thoughts will slide
Into a lover’s head!
“O mercy!” to myself I cried,
“If Lucy should be dead!”

B. Analysis of Meaning of Wordsworth’s Poem: Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known
            Wordsworth’s poem Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known is a romantic poem. This poem, like most of other Romantic poem, has an idea of ‘Love’. This poem really reflects Wordsworth’s principles of romantic literary work. It expresses Wordsworth’s own feeling and passion. He really praises the nature very much by giving such a nature scene. The language in this poem is very simple.
a. Interpretation
            Like many of Wordsworth’s poem, this poem start with some remembered events. In the first stanza, the poet tells that he wants to tell the reader about his experience, the passion of love he ha. He addresses this poem to everybody who is falling in love.
            Strange fits of passion have I known:
            And I will dare to tell,
            But in the lover’s ear alone,
            What once to me befell.

The third line of the first stanza uses a phrase ‘the lover’s ear alone to say a fallen love person. This first stanza is a kind of introduction of the poet’s theme which is one’s passion of love.
            The second stanza is the beginning of the poet’s story about his experience when he is in a journey of visiting his beloved girl friend. Here, he uses simile to describe the beauty of his lover. He compares his lover to a fresh rose that blooms in June.
            When She I loved looked every day
            Fresh as a rose in June,

            The last line of the second stanza gives us the hint of the setting of time. The person here is talking his journey to his lover’s cottage in the evening when the moon is above the sky.
            I to her cottage bent my way,
            Beneath an evening moon.

            The third stanza tells us the person’s journey to his lover’s cottage by riding a horse. He passes through the path that he recognizes very much on an open wide grass land. Then the fourth stanza tells us that the person almost reaches his girl’s friend cottage. The fifth stanza shows us how the person is full of passion at meeting his lover. The first two lines of the fifth stanza show us the passion of the person toward seeing his lover. He is very patient to see her.

            In one of those sweet dreams I slept
            Kind nature’s gentlest boon!

            In the sixth stanza the person has reached his lover’s cottage after long journey. He no longer sees the moon sides behind the cottage. The seventh stanza tells us that there is a little thought of scary of losing his girl friend crosses the man;s mind.
            “Oh Mercy!” to myself I cried,
            “If Lucy should be dead!’

            The rhythm of these two lines shows us the emotion of the person. The stresses that are given to ‘O‘ and ‘Mercy’ indicates the person’s scary. He does not want to lose his lover.

b. Theme
            Through the interpretation we can grasp the theme. The theme of this poem is about one’s passion of love. From the title and the first stanza we can predict that this poem is about love. It is about the poet’s experience of being in love and it is also about the passion that the poet has when he is in love.

c. Image
            Since the second stanza to the sixth stanza, the poet offers us a visual image of beautiful nature’s view. He describes his imagination such a beautiful way and he makes his imagination roam to other beautiful images.
            Upon the moon I fixed my eyes,
            All over the wide lea;
            With quickening pace my horse drew night
            Those paths so dear to me

            This stanza takes us to a beautiful scene which the poet has once experience before. Here we can see a wide open grass land with the moon above it and there are paths which is so dear to the poet on the grass land.
            The poet also offers us a kinetic image. He describes how his horse moves and takes him to his lover’s cottage.
            My horse moved on; hoof after hoof
            He raised, and never stopped:

d. Tone
            The tone of the poet is sympathy and passionate. We can see him very sympathy and passionate through the event. How he described the poem through the lyrics made the reader getting involved with the tone.

e. Figurative language
            Since Wordsworth believed in the principles of a new ideal of naturalness and simplicity, he avoids everything artificial and merely conventional. He believed in the language of ordinary men and women. Therefore, this poem has no difficult diction that is difficult to understand by the reader.
            This poem has no symbol, connotation, metonymy, allusion, the diction has merely denotation. The poet emphasizes his tone, his visual image by using simile, personification and metaphore. Therefore, this poem seems so alive, as in:
            * When She I loved looked every day
               Fresh as a rose in June
            * The sinking moon to Lucy’s cot
               Came near, and nearer still
            * But in the lover’s ear alone

f. Rhythm
            The rhythm that the poem use is like Waltzing rhythm. From the first stanza to the sixth stanza the rhythm is almost similar. This indicates that there is a constant. He uses iambic tetrameter for every first line of each stanza.
            The rhythm he offers us to emphasize his emotion in this poem. The calmness of the rhythm show the poet’s sympathy and the last stanza of the poem give us a clear hint of the poet’s passion.

g. Meaning
            The meaning of this poem is that every falling in love person will be filled of passion and desire to see his or her lover. The love that he or she has will guide him or her to break every obstacle that hints his or her relationship. Love will make one sacrifice for his or her lover. Just like the person in the poem who is willing to have long journey to see his lover. The feeling afraid of loosing the one he or she loves will always occur at any time, the way the person in the poem is afraid of losing his lover.
            Being afraid of losing someone whom he loved describes clearly in his poem. Through the beauty of lyrics, Wordsworth asked us to enjoy the journey of loving. Loving means people are entirely sacrificing for the lover. It is seen toward every step that the writer wrote. This poem taught us to be wise, patient and keep struggling to realize the immortal of love. That is the hardest part of human being who need love to balance their routine task. No one can live with meaningless love, but people will have spirit to build their life by being love and to love somebody.

III. Conclusion
            Wordsworth’s poem Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known is one of the Romantic poems. This poem like many other Romantic poems has an idea of love and nature. This poem is the most popular of Wordsworth’s poem, is a reflection of his own passion.
            This poem is about the passion of love of the poet when he is falling in love with a woman. Here he is willing to have a long journey to see his lover. The poet’s experience, as it expressed in this poem is the same as any other falling in love expressed in this poem is the same as any other falling in love person who is full of love and beautiful dream of his lover. Talking about love poem is always attract the art lover, because life without love is empty, meaningless and full of sadness. Moreover, in many Wordsworth’s poem always reflect about this everlasting theme, love. Love is reflected about romance, joy of loving couple and lover and how one surrenders or sacrifices to his lover. Even this poem has such ordinary idea but still people are curious to find the meaning inside. The more we are searching the meaning, the larger idea and thought we can get through it.
            Furthermore, the power of love always inspires human being to be mature, to control emotion, to struggle every challenge to pursue the joy in life. Some people think that talking about love always arise the curiosity, the huge basic knowledge surrounding people’s desire. Love is always become the interesting part in human being’s life, because love become the greatest part that cannot be neglected. Finally, love will give great impact to someone who is fulfilled with love because the power of love can change one’s life.

References
Guth, Hans P., The literary Heritage, General Editor and Senior Author. Massachutes: Lexington.
Perrine, Laurence. 1974. Literature: Structure, Sound and Sense, Second Edition, New York:
Wilson, B. A., John Burgess. English Literature: A Survey for Students, British: Longman.

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