© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.


The Hermit

Symbol Analysis

The hermit only appears one time in the poem, at the end of the first stanza. A hermit is a person who secludes himself from the world and lives alone, usually for religious reasons. We don't even know whether there is really a hermit living in the woods near the Wye. The speaker is just musing about the possible source of the smoke he sees rising from the trees. Maybe the speaker thinks of a Hermit because he'd like to retire into the woods himself and live in seclusion from the rest of the world to commune with nature.

  • Lines 21-22: The "Hermit" really stands out to us for two reasons: first, because it's capitalized. Second, look at the shape of the line. Line 22 breaks off in the middle to end the stanza. The "Hermit" is "sit[ting] alone," all right – alone at the end of the stanza. That line is actually isolated from the rest of the poem, just as the Hermit is secluded from the rest of the world. Neat!

back to top