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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    Wordsworth:Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

    RD: William Wordsworth wrote, "Our souls have sight of that immortal sea/which brought us hither." Do you have any intimations of immortality?
    Pausch: Not in a personal or existential sense. In a professional capacity, through the Alice Project, millions of kids will learn to program computers and have fun. That's what my career was all about-doing hard things and having fun doing them. Alice can be a legacy. And it was nice to get 10,000 e-mails saying, "Your lecture bettered my life."
    Hi! Would you please interpret the two verses for me? Thank you!

    Our souls have sight of that immortal sea/which brought us hither

  2. #2

    Re: Wordsworth:Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hi! Would you please interpret the two verses for me? Thank you!

    Our souls have sight of that immortal sea/which brought us hither
    One interpretation is as follows.........

    Our souls, the deepest part of our consciousness, can perceive the timelessness from which we came. W. is using the immensity of the sea, and its expansive formlessness, as a metaphor for death or pre-existence. We came from formlessness (the sea) and we will return to the limitless formlessness after we die. Our souls can perceive this.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Wordsworth:Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

    Quote Originally Posted by fromatto View Post
    One interpretation is as follows.........

    Our souls, the deepest part of our consciousness, can perceive the timelessness from which we came. W. is using the immensity of the sea, and its expansive formlessness, as a metaphor for death or pre-existence. We came from formlessness (the sea) and we will return to the limitless formlessness after we die. Our souls can perceive this.

    Beautiful explanation!

  4. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Wordsworth:Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

    Hi Fromatto,

    Thanks for your good interpretation.
    We came from formlessness (the sea) and we will return to the limitless formlessness after we die. Our souls can perceive this.
    The above reminds me of another quote- ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

    I have another related question about this.

    RD (Reader Digest) had an interview with Mr. Pausch and I wonder how the journalist knew Mr. Pausch would understand the verses. He was a scientist about computer. so Is the poem Intimations of Immortality by Wordsworth well-known by almost every single native English speaker?

    If you or anyone else knew, please tell me. Thanks again!
    Last edited by thedaffodils; 18-May-2008 at 17:56. Reason: a minor clerical error

  5. #5

    Re: Wordsworth:Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hi Fromatto,

    Thanks for your good interpretation.
    The above reminds me of another quote- ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

    I have another related question about this.

    RD (Reader Digest) had an interview with Mr. Pausch and I wonder how the journalist knew Mr. Pausch would understand the verses. He was a scientist about computer. so Is the poem Intimations of Immortality by Wordsworth well-known by almost every single native English speaker?

    If you or anyone else knew, please tell me. Thank again!
    The poem is probably known by less than 1 percent of native English speakers. Some of us learn poetry at school and most of us forget it as soon as we leave. I confess that I did not know the poem, although I probably read it many years ago. It is easy enough to understand though.

    Your 'ashes to ashes, dust to dust' does not quite capture the same idea. Wordsworth is talking about immortality, that part of us that lives forever. Ashes and dust are part of the material world into which we are born and from which we leave when we die.

  6. Snowcake's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Wordsworth:Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Beautiful explanation!
    Yes, indeed. It's beautiful. Thank you, fromatto.

  7. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Wordsworth:Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

    Fromatto, thanks a bunch! You are very kind.


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    #8

    Re: Wordsworth:Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

    Wordsworth was not influenced by Darwin, and any idea that we emerged from the primordial ooze of the ocean. He was of the Neoplatonic sway, and the doctrine popularly known as the doctrine of reminiscence of a heavenly pre-natal state. This holds that the human soul comes into this world from its original home, the heaven. And with the birth of the child begins his journey from heaven to this tangible material world. Fresh from heaven he finds himself wrapped in heavenly light and sees heavenly light in each and every object of nature. His vivid memories of celestial existence invest whatever he sees around with a kind of visionary cream-like splendour.
    The material world causes these heavenly memories to fade, and in his mature days he may be away from the seashore of immortality. His memories of that immortal heavenly life may be dimmer and dimmer but he is still able to catch occasional glimpses of it in moments of tranquility, vague intimations of man's utimate immortality from his recollection of childhood memories of heavenly existence. Hence, the most famous and beloved lines:

    What though the radiance which was once so bright
    Be now for ever taken from my sight,
    Though nothing can bring back the hour
    Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
    We will grieve not, rather find
    Strength in what remains behind...
    Last edited by David L.; 18-May-2008 at 18:31.

  8. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Wordsworth:Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

    David L., thank you for your comment. I hope I could understand the poem genuinely one day.

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