She Was a Phantom of Delight

Essay by bu-shhabHigh School, 11th gradeA-, June 2002

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One of the most outstanding poets of the Romantic period was William Wordsworth. Wordsworth wrote many interesting poems, and one of his finest was "She was a Phantom of Delight". Wordsworth had relations with many women and so it wasn't known for whom he wrote this poem. In his poem, he never describes any particular women, nor mentions a trait distinctive to one of the women he met. Thus, the women to whom he wrote this poem remained a secret.

Wordsworth starts off the poem saying, "She was a Phantom of delight". There is an oxymoron here since the word phantom suggests an evil mood, but it brings delight to the speaker. The word phantom is capitalized because it refers to the women where she is imaginary like a phantom. On the third line he says, "A lovely Apparition, sent" and again, the word apparition is capitalized because it refers to the woman.

The author uses the words phantom and apparition to refer to his love to show that his love is imaginary and exists only in his mind. On the last line of the first stanza, he uses the word "haunt" to furthermore emphasize his point that his love is nothing but an imaginary thought that preoccupies his mind like phantoms and apparitions. The diction in this paragraph is paradoxical since the speaker uses different kinds of words in describing his loved one. For example, he sounds blissful and delighted when he used the words "delight", "lovely Apparition", "ornament", "cheerful", and "gay". But his mood seems to be exactly the opposite when he used the words "phantom", "dusky", "startle", and "haunt" which exhibits a dark gloomy mood. The speaker shows confusion in his writing since he doesn't know if the woman is real or just...