The speakers present in each poem have different views of how to gain a proper and insightful education. William Wordsworth’s “The Tables Turned” skews away from the classic schooling style, whereas Howard Nemerov’s “To David, About His Education” maintains tradition.
After stepping back from the words themselves, it is apparent that the structure on each poem differs radically. “The Tables Turned” is written completely in quatrains and includes a consistent rhyme scheme of abab, cdcd, etc. This helps the speaker to make his points clearly in regards to his view on education. Contrasting this definitive structure, Nemerov’s piece is a continuous set of 19 lines with no apparent pattern or rhyme scheme. Although there is no prominent structure, the concise and focused writing style maintains a central theme.
“To David, About His Education” is written in rather colloquial language, avoiding complicated words or abstract ideas. Nemerov includes common phrases to exemplify this concise style, “Things like” or “under his hat”. By using common phrases spoken in everyday language, Nemerov’s work connects the reader to the work. “The Tables Turned” uses more formal language and abstract idea, “And hark! How blithe the throstle sings!” Wordsworth tends to extend his ideas out to nature itself, more abstract rather than concrete, such as his mention of bringing “with you a heart that watches and receives”. He uses these abstract phrases to loosen up the mind to be open to new ideas, specifically in regards to his definition of a true education.
“The Tables Turned” encourages the youth to close their books and look around, taking in “the sun, above the mountain’s head.” By using this gorgeous imagery, Wordsworth brings focus to nature and the world around us all. The poet describes the beauty of the fields and refers to books as “barren leaves” as if books have nothing more to offer. The imagery present in “The Tables Turned” works perfectly in portraying the...