In the first stanza the speaker comes across a beautiful girl working alone in the fields of Scotland the Highland. She is "Reaping and singing by herself. In the third stanza the reader learns that the speaker cannot understand the words being sung. He can only guess at what she might be singing about:.
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Iambic tetrameter lines run throughout the poem. An iamb is an unstressed syllable, followed by a stressed syllable. Tetrameter means four feet in a line. Example: Be- hold her sing gle in the field. Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here, or gently pass! The poet, while travelling in the Highland valleys, comes across a lonely Highlander reaper girl who is harvesting the crops and singing by herself. The poet urges them to stop there and listen to her song, or to pass by gently without disturbing her in her singing. Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy strain; O listen! The solitary reaper girl is cutting and binding the grain while singing a sad song.
The poet again urges the other travellers to listen to her music, as it is overflowing the deep valley. No Nightingale did ever chaunt More welcome notes to weary bands Of travellers in some shady haunt, Among Arabian sands:.
The melodious note of a nightingale sounds sweet and welcoming to a tired group of travellers in some shady shelter in the middle of the Arabian desert. But the song of the Highland girl is sweeter than that of the nightingale. Now the comparison shifts to the cuckoo, another well-known song bird. The cuckoo bird in springtime breaks the silence of the seas in the far-off Hebrides islands. But, according to the poet, the song of the solitary reaper is more thrilling than that of the cuckoo.
Will no one tell me what she sings? From its tone, he guesses it to be a mournful song plaintive numbers about some old unhappy things and past battles. Or is it some more humble lay, Familiar matter of to-day? Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, That has been, and may be again? Wordsworth again guesses that the song might be about some more usual happenings like some natural sorrow, loss or pain, a death or a domestic day-to-day incident which has occurred or may happen again. Our poet saw her singing at her work bending over her scythe.
The flow of her music was so impressive that it seemed to be never-ending. I listened, motionless and still; And, as I mounted up the hill, The music in my heart I bore, Long after it was heard no more.
Such was the impression of the song upon his mind. Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information. Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies.
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The Solitary Reaper by Wordsworth: Summary & Analysis
It was first published in In the poem, the speaker tries—and fails—to describe the song he heard a young woman singing as she cuts grain in a Scottish field. The speaker does not understand the song, and he cannot tell what it was about. Nor can he find the language to describe its beauty. He finds that the traditional poetic metaphors for a beautiful song fail him. Will no one tell me what she sings? Select any word below to get its definition in the context of the poem.
The Solitary Reaper Summary
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Wordsworth's Poetical Works Summary and Analysis of "The Solitary Reaper"
The poem functions to "praise the beauty of music and its fluid expressive beauty", the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility" that Wordsworth identified at the heart of poetry. The poet says that anyone passing by should either stop or gently pass as not to disturb her. There is a controversy however over the importance of the reaper along with Nature. It was published in Poems, in Two Volumes in Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland Lass! Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here, or gently pass!
A Short Analysis of William Wordsworth’s ‘The Solitary Reaper’
The poem has received a fair bit of critical analysis; here, we offer some notes towards a commentary on it. Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland Lass! Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here, or gently pass! Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy strain; O listen! Will no one tell me what she sings? Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, That has been, and may be again? It was T.