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Analysis

The River Wye

Symbol Analysis

This is, after all, where the poem takes place: on the banks of the river Wye, looking out across the river valley. The specific location is important, because the poem is about the speaker's changing relationship to this spot on the river Wye. He visited it five years before, but now his impressions of it are different.

  • The title: The speaker situates us very specifically with his title. He practically gives the reader directions to spot on the river Wye where he had the transcendental experience described in the poem.
  • Lines 2-4: He personifies the river in line 4 when he describes the sound it makes as a "murmur."
  • Lines 55-57: The speaker says that, in anxious, sad moments, he "turned to" the river "in spirit" for guidance and comfort. He apostrophizes the river by calling out to it, even though it obviously can't respond to him in a literal way.

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