In William Wordsworth's poems, "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey" and "She Was a Phantom of Delight," the theme of memory is used as a powerful and creative force. In "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey," Wordsworth recalls a time five years ago when he took a trip to the Abbey. Through his words he is able to convey the emotion and beauty of the Abbey to his audience. .
In the first several lines alone, you can visualize the Abbey and Wordsworth's memory is what brings it to life. "Five years have past; five summers, with the length of five long winter! And again I hear these waters, rolling from their mountain-springs with a soft inland murmur," (lines 1-4, page 47). With one glance at the sight before him, William Wordsworth has again been hypnotized by the presence of the Abbey. He talks about the time that has passed and the sounds that he can hear echoing through the air. All of this is traveling back to him and he begins to remember the first time that he saw this same sight. There is one particular part of the poem where it becomes completely obvious that Wordsworth has dreamt about this sight for quite some time. " The picture of the mind revives again: while here I stand, not only with the sense of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts that in this moment there is life and food for future years," (lines 63-67, page 49). The picture that Wordsworth has been carrying all these years was just a memory that he has had to hold on to until the next time that he would see the Abbey. I believe that William Wordsworth decided to construct this poem because his memory alone was not serving the purpose which was to keep the Abbey alive. He had taken a mental picture of the Abbey and tried to hold onto it for as long as he could but it became too difficult to relay the message and sight to others so thus came the arrival of "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey.