I believe that the first picture, William Turner’s painting “The Chancel and Crossing of Tintern Abbey, Looking toward the East Window,” best personifies William Wordsworth’s poem “Tintern Abbey” as a romantic poem. It does not merely focus on depicting a scene of beauty in nature, but rather it focuses on its former glory. The speaker’s memory of the place has carried him through much of his life, for the past five years he has held onto it as a place of beauty and tranquility. But now upon his return, he finds that it is no longer the place he has long remembered it to be, and his childhood memory is disproven. The speaker struggles because the memory he has held of Tintern Abbey influenced many of his life decisions for the better, but now are conflicted with the present state. This painting shows Tintern Abbey as it is in the present, slowing falling apart at the hands of time. In the poem the author has painted Tintern Abbey much like the contemporary tourist writings. He dwells on the beauty and grandeur of the place without taking time to realize that the scene he is describing is merely a thing of the past, and his description is no longer an accurate depiction of his memory. Wordsworth is almost mocking the touristic writings, and how they can often falsely depict a scene, presenting it as something that it no longer is, or never was. Wordsworth’s poem “Tintern Abbey” is romantic, while mocking the contemporary writings of the day.
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