After carefully observing a butterfly, for quite some time, the poet William Wordsworth was able to write the poem To a butterfly.
About the poem
The work of William Wordsworth is considered as sophisticated poetry. The melancholy to long for his childhood speaks from this poem. The poet stresses the importance of childhood. A basis to fully develop. But, childhood is also the period in life that should be enjoyed. Before it ends or, to stay in the metaphor of this poem: before it flies away.
Childhood resembles innocence and the need to explore the world. A poem is a good way to express those feelings on how it should be. Remember, that at the time Wordsworth wrote this poem, children weren’t supposed to fully enjoy childhood. In a way, nothing seems to be changed for a large part of the world. Unfortunately, this hasn’t changed.
To A Butterfly
STAY near me–do not take thy flight!
A little longer stay in sight!
Much converse do I find in thee,
Historian of my infancy!
Float near me; do not yet depart!
Dead times revive in thee:
Thou bring’st, gay creature as thou art!
A solemn image to my heart,
My father’s family!
Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when, in our childish plays,
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chased the butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey:–with leaps and springs
I followed on from brake to bush;
But she, God love her, feared to brush
The dust from off its wings.
— William Wordsworth
About the poet
William Wordsworth was born in Cockermouth (on April 7, 1770, Cumberland, England). He would grow out to be one of the poets of the Romantic Age of English Literature. His joint Lyrical Ballads (published in 1798), together with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, marked the beginning of the Romantic Age.
The poem The prelude is considered as his most important poem. His work was the reason to give him the title poet laureate of Great Britain. He held this position until April 23, 1850.