In this poem Wordsworth, who had personally experienced loss multiple times, explains the moment when you experience something happy and turn to share the moment with someone near to you only to remember that they've passed away. The shock of that moment is startling and painful and Wordsworth captures it beautifully in words.
I remember the first time I read this poem. Its accuracy and emotion hit me hard. I knew exactly what it described. I had lost my sister to cancer a few years before and knew all too well the feeling of being "surprised by joy."
The truth of Wordsworth's words taught me something powerful. They showed me that human truth was found in more than just scripture. They also reinforced to me why we read and study literature. We don't read just because it's fun. We read because literature connects us and teaches us so much about life and what it means to be human. Literature helps us through life because it shows us that we aren't alone, something I was taught by William Wordworth.
|My sisters and I shortly before Madey passed away|
Other spiritual literary experiences:
- Reading board books to my baby nephew and watching him learn through what I read
- Listening to my parents read stories to my sisters and I when we were kids
- Writing fiction and nonfiction based on my personal experiences
- Helping students in the writing center learn the power of writing through tutoring
- Reading poetry while hiking near my home and realizing just how accurately the words described nature
- Finding a good quote in a book that applies to my life, especially at that particular moment