By W. K. Thomas
Wordsworth depicted Newton, as Roubiliac may have performed in his statue of him, as voyaging, in ecstasy, via God's sensorium. within the Prelude passage from which the identify A brain For Ever Voyaging is derived, and in numerous others portraying Newton and technology, Wordsworth turns out to have written for 2 audiences, most people and a way smaller, inner most viewers, whereas looking to bring up the minds of either to God. Like Pope prior to him, Wordsworth accomplished "What oft was once wrought, yet ne'er so good exprest."
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Extra info for A Mind For Ever Voyaging: Wordsworth at Work Portraying Newton and Science
Interestingly, Wordsworth himself, as a schoolboy, put the answer rather well in a verse exercise he wrote at Hawkshead Grammar School: Britain, who long her warriors had adored, And deem'd all merit centred in the sword; Britain, who thought to stain the field was fame, Now honour'd Edward's less than Bacon's name. 16 And what about Shakespeare or Milton? What about the artist as the sage who creates and builds up instead of the military conqueror who kills and tears down? 22 A MIND FOR EVER VOYAGING To certain Englishmen Sir Christopher Wren was this kind of sage and artist who should accordingly be regarded as a hero.
He was himself a brooding presence whenever discoveries in science were mentioned, especially discoveries which further elevated the mind to a contemplation of God. Newton's influence in other important passages of Wordsworth has already been detailed by scholars. In fact a number of them have suggested that Newton provided the framework for much of Wordsworth's description of the grander aspects of the universe. J. W. " B. R. 87 And Professor Schneider suggests an even more pervasive influence: "Newton's Cambridge is probably in part responsible for the fact that Wordsworth's poetry is haunted by the sun, moon and stars.
As John Hughes put it, "Newton's soul. "32 Since the writers whose poems and poetical passages made up the corpus of praise to Newton all dealt, more or less, with the same kind of content, it is not surprising that they often made use of the same motifs and imagery. As Marjorie Hope Nicolson implies, when "the 'cosmic voyage' of the seventeenth century settled into the 'excursion' of the eighteenth century," 33 it was only natural to depict Newton, in either his own material person, his soul, or his mind, as travelling through the heavens.