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Wednesday, February 11, 2015


In my English Literature course we recently read Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey" poem, and I was struck by the similarity in thought of a passage in it to the lines at the end of one of my favorite novels, A River Runs Through It.  I was so struck that I was certain that author Norman MacLean must have been familiar with the poem and remembered that MacLean had been a college professor.  Checking with Wiki on the internet told me that he indeed was an English professor and that his specialty was....the Romantic Poets! 

The passage in Wordsworth concerns the interconnection of all things and reads:

 "A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts;  a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things..."

MacLean wrote:

"Eventually all things merge into one and then a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs under rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs." 

 You may love a passage in a book as I have that one and still come to a further understanding of it after 4o years.

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