“Tintern Abbey” is one of the memorable poems of William Wordsworth, a great poet of nature and men. He looked at nature from an original angle and loved her with a devotion that is hither to remembered. It has been rightly said that Wordsworth had his passion for nature in his blood. It was a necessity of his being like that of the Mulberry leaf to the silkworm and through his commerce with nature did he love and breath. His treatment of nature is original and unique. For Wordsworth, nature is not inanimate rather it is a living organic. He has spiritualised nature. His originality lies in his attitude towards nature. According to him nature is alive and it is present everywhere and in every object.
The occasion of this poem “Tintern Abbey” is visit to the Wye, which had already visited five years before. This gives beam the significance that the landscape has had a great impact even after the long interval. Wordsworth first relates his moral doctrine that the memory of this beautiful scene has restorative but has aroused unnoticed sensations of pleasure which have had kindness and love. This seems true and more adequate that a wood in spring can teach us all about ethics.
In ”Tintern Abbey” Wordsworth has expressed the gradual evolution of his moral thoughts and mystical outlook of nature. The various stages through which he passed before he arrived at the mystical outlook of nature were the physical, the mental and the mural one. As a child the poet’s response to nature was purely a physical one. It was that stage that Wordsworth “like a roe (fish)…… bounded over the mountains by the side of the deep rivers and the lonely streams. When the coarser pleasure of boyish days and the glad animal movements passed away, nature became an object of absorbing interest to the poet. In youth the poet found the visual delight in nature beauty that had no need of a remote Charm. The development of a sense which is full of realisation of something obscurely experience all alone.
“Tintern Abbey” expresses the central ideas in the Wordswortherian form of nature poetry. Wordsworth believed that nature scenes, once observed would leave a deep and indelible imprint on the mind and heart. These experiences constituted the spiritual traces, which the poet could use for restoring his peace of mind. This belief is clearly brought out in “Tintern Abbey”. The sweet sensations are the result of remembered pleasures but unremembered pleasures have also their impact and underlying influences. Significantly Wordsworth‘s poetry was the outcome of the recollections of earlier emotions and no wonder “Tintern Abbey” is the expressions of emotions recollected by the poet. What is more, in “Tintern Abbey” Wordsworth embodies his unshakable faith that nature does not betray the heart that loves her. Further he asserts that nature can fulfil our mind with the ideas of beauty and peace in such a way that he will be proof against all sadness.
In “Tintern Abbey” Wordsworth’s mental development of his outlook towards nature has been very vividly and clearly mentioned. His outlook towards nature and his development of ideas towards nature, all these are recorded in “Tintern Abbey”. In a nutshell we can say that in “Tintern Abbey” we find the development of the thought and the ideas of Wordsworth. The poem concludes with the another influence that is his sister Dorothy whose love and affection became a source of inspiration for the poet. She also plays a vital role in vigorating the sleeping poet who had got an inspiration for writing poetry. It was Dorothy who gave him support and Wordsworth very candidly says she is the heart and hinge of the life.