S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.17 (1986) (인문논총)
Wordsworth의 를 읽는 한 가지 방법- 없음>으로서의있음>과 있음/없음>으로서의 죽음- : A Reading of Wordsworth's "Lucy Poems": Presence as Absence and Death as Presence/Absence
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 인문과학연구소
- 인문논총, Vol.20, pp. 29-53
- In the cannon of Wordsworth's poetry, "Lucy Poems" take a very interesting place in their theme. All of the five poems except "I Travelled Among Unknown Men" were written in 1799, while Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy, were in Germany and homesick. There has been diligent speculation about the identity of Lucy, but it remains speculation. H.M. Margolioth, for instance, speculates that Lucy is Margaret (Peggy) Hutchinson, sister of Mary and Sara Hutchinson. His theory, nontheless, remains one of the most probable speculations. What attracts our attention most here is that these poems are a series of love poems addressed to a dead girl. Because of this, these poems show the narrator's desperate effort to resurrect Lucy in his memory. Since she is dead and gone now, he heavily relies on his memory to do this job. In the process Lucy's presence as a living person is mediated through the narrator's memory. Lucy's presence, therefore, turns out to be hollow and empty in reality, and is preserved in memory only. She is preserved as a living person in these poems and the narrator's mind, but her presence is no more than an epitaph on her tombstone. In this sense, her presence is just a trace of her presence. We can also say that her presence is a variation on her absence, deferred and repeated in the narrator's memory and preserved in the poems only. In "A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal," however, a dramatic turn of event takes place: her absence takes on life through her union with the cosmic life of the universe. She has been absorbed into the cosmic cycle of the universe by becoming one with "rocks, and stones; and trees." Through her death she becomes alive. It is really paradoxical that she takes on the permanent aspect of the cosmic cycle and lives on as an absent/present person.