You see a little muddy pond Of water, never dry, Ive measured it from side to side: Tis three feet long, and two feet wide. These words, from the conclusion of the third stanza of Wordsworths The Thorn published in 1798, were later rewritten: You see a little muddy pond Of water never dry, Though but of compass small, and bare To thirsty suns and parching air. Obviously we have no way of knowing what it was about the original that Wordsworth found unsatisfactory. But its fair to say that the final couplet of the original lacks poetic imagery and this might have been one of his reasons for the alteration. The language in the original is as poetic as one would expect to find from an order submitted to a builders supply yard. It simply states size and measurement in a flat, two dimensional description. It tells us nothing about the pond that would help the reader better understand its aesthetic. It says nothing that would help the reader experience any aspect of the ponds physicality.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number