“The picture of the mind revives again”

Wordsworth tells us:

Though absent long,
These forms of beauty have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man’s eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ‘mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet”
Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, ll 24 – 28
He sings the virtues of memory, but of a special kind. Not a photographic one, such as those held in the pages of an album, but rather a multi-dimensional one. To this recollection the mind may return and explore depths of field. This act of remembering allows for an active displacement in time, a true revisiting of past events. In this way, Wordsworth can return to Tintern Abbey and enjoy a vivid experience of the past. In the same way, two years after coming across a parterre of daffodils (as told us by Dorothy Wordsworth in her Grasmere Journals), he can float above the scene, enjoying a new, free-flying point of view.
Could this be part of the essence of Romanticism? The power of the mind to remember but also reinvest past scenes with a present sense of adventure.
Keats writes:
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind’s cage-door,
She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
To Fancy, ll 5-8
Who is Fancy- if not the embodiment of creative remembering? Do we not read, enjoy, weep at words on the page precisely because we are encountering the past revived, shown us from ” a few miles above”…?
So while the rain has returned to the shores of the Léman, dashing all our hopes of spring.
[Fancy] will bring, in spite of frost,
Beauties that the earth hath lost;
She will bring thee, all together,
All delights of summer weather;
All the buds and bells of May
To Fancy, ll 29-33

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