Poem introduction

In his biography of Tolstoy, A. N. Wilson has it that writers work best in an atmosphere of sensuality and indolence. Wordsworth's variation of that idea in this poem is a little more complicated, involving the ineluctable modality of sensory experience and a mysticism about powers in the natural that shape our minds and will speak to us if we are in a state of wise passiveness, and will listen. I suppose many people will be more used to coming across these ideas in the context of the eastern meditative traditions. In both that wise passiveness is offered as a way to peace and connection to the present moment, to creativity and the enjoyment of life.

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