This time I used a much larger collection of Wordsworth’s Works, including novels and all poetry. Of particular note to me was 4 of the more significant words appearing, Man, Day, Life, and Time. With over 1200 instances of each word reoccurring through Wordsworth’s art, With these four words, I can guess at a recurrent theme in Wordsworth stories, that of mortality, and subsequently death. So I decided to focus on the opposites of these words, Death, Night, and mortality.
Now, to my extreme shock, the word death does not show up a single time in this extremely expansive corpus! But upon quickly revamping my search to show dying, dead, and other similar words, I returned with just shy of 500 matches, when considering all forms of that word. Night on the other hand had 700 matches in the corpus, which means that both words are vastly outnumbered by their counterparts. So while Wordsworth poetry seems to indicate a duality between these two themes, the amount of times it shows up does not necessarily reflect that. But perhaps I’m focusing too much on the life aspect of it, we can also take a look at emotional traits.
Like is the most common word in the corpus with over 1700 instances, with love having almost 1200. Heart is also nearing 1200, and generally we can see a correlation between love and nature, and romance. Wordsworth has been known for his duality, and so perhaps we might find a similar result with the opposites of love and like.
Surprisingly, hatred has 0 matches in the corpus! Variants of hate on the other hand only show up with a measly 30 matches, dislike and its variants also only returning 38 matches. This is staggering pitiful against the huge influx of romantic words! So while Wordsworth seems to juxtaposition nature, life and death, it would seem he doesn’t necessarily do the same with love and its opposites. Ultimately, Voyant gave me a very fascinating look into Wordsworth’s writing mindset. Also his ability to just not use certain words like death, in a man who writes hundreds of poems is certainly impressive. It seems he has a very refined diction. With a one million and five hundred thousand word corpus, he only uses 34000 unique words! That’s actually surprisingly small considering.