My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold

My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold


MY heart leaps up when I behold |   |
  A rainbow in the sky: |   |
So was it when my life began, |   |
  So is it now I am a man, |   |
So be it when I shall grow old |          5 |
    Or let me die! |   |
The child is father of the man: |   |
And I could wish my days to be |   |
Bound each to each by natural piety. |   |
  | |

My Heart Leaps Up, also known as The Rainbow, is a poem by the British Romantic Poet William Wordsworth. Noted for its simplicity of structure and language, it describes the joy that he feels when he sees a rainbow and notes that he has felt this way since his childhood. He concludes the poem by noting how his childhood has shaped his current views and stating that "the child is father of the man".[1]

Critical analysis[edit]
Some commentators have speculated that Wordsworth felt such joy because the rainbow indicates the constancy of his connection to nature throughout his life.[4] Others have said that it celebrates "the continuity in Wordsworth's consciousness of self".[1] Many commentators also draw parallels to the rainbow of Noah and the covenant that it symbolised.[5] Wordsworth's use of the phrase "bound each to each" in the poem also implies the presence of a covenant. Some commentators have drawn further parallels with the story of Noah. Harold Bloom has suggested that Wordsworth casts the rainbow as a symbol of the survival of his poetic gift, just as the rainbow symbolised to Noah the survival of mankind. Bloom suggests that Wordsworth's poetic gift relied on his ability to recall the memories of his joy as a child.[1][6]
William Blake disliked Wordsworth's use of the phrase "natural piety". Blake believed that man was naturally impious and therefore Wordsworth's phrase contradicted itself.[6]

Devices Used

* Repetition of the word "so"
* Enjambement at lines 1, 2
* Rhyme Scheme
* Personification: "My heart leaps up"

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