Imagination is "reason in her most exalted mood"

— Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)

Place of Publication
Edward Moxon
Imagination is "reason in her most exalted mood"
Metaphor in Context
This spiritual Love acts not nor can exist
Without Imagination, which, in truth,
Is but another name for absolute power
And clearest insight, amplitude of mind,
And Reason in her most exalted mood.

This faculty hath been the feeding source
Of our long labour: we have traced the stream
From the blind cavern whence is faintly heard
Its natal murmur; followed it to light
And open day; accompanied its course
Among the ways of Nature, for a time
Lost sight of it bewildered and engulphed;
Then given it greeting as it rose once more
In strength, reflecting from its placid breast
The works of man and face of human life;
And lastly, from its progress have we drawn
Faith in life endless, the sustaining thought
Of human Being, Eternity, and God.
(ll. 188-205)
Looking through old notes. Text from
The Prelude, or Growth of a Poet's Mind; An Autobiographical Poem; By William Wordsworth (London: Edward Moxon, 1850). <Link to Google Books>
Date of Entry
Date of Review

The Mind is a Metaphor is authored by Brad Pasanek, Assistant Professor of English, University of Virginia.