Given that romantic themes are surrounded by the focus on feelings, including inspiration and the use of imagination, William Woodsworth’s, “Anecdote For Fathers: Shewing How The Art of Lying May Be Taught,” fits in perfectly. There is encouragement and room for inspiration from the beginning, starting with the title, a story for fathers. From the very beginning, the setting becomes a journey involving a father and son and a glimpse of their relationship involving listening, appreciation and love. Through the repetition of the word, “thinking” (“To think, and think, and think again”), we are aware of the freedom to do so, as well as the creation of a vast place for possibilities. This is shown with the painting above, where the large amount of space lies between the water and mountains. In addition to the endless possibilities, there is a constant mentioning of words like, “pleasant.” Although the father was bringing up two different places throughout the poem, the space he was currently in with his son was a mixture of both Kilve and Liswyn farm: “pleasant, delightful, sweet.”
This painting precisely captures two people indulged in the space around them, that from our perspective they might seem small, but to them the space around them is a part of them. There is also a way in which this relationship process is accepted due to the delivery of the message through the poem. The ABAB rhyme scheme aligns perfectly with a melody in order to create this peaceful atmosphere where there is a lesson behind the song, but it’s so catchy, the listener doesn’t notice. Instead, they’re so busy enjoying the rhyme of the song and the love and appreciation coming from the father towards the son, that the listener is able to feel inspired to do the same. The darkness that takes over part of this space parallels to the uncertainty of the son who is not sure why he prefers his original home (Kilve) over where they are. But the light of the rainbow is part of the inspiration that the father is receiving from his son when he says, “…my heart/For better lord would seldom yearn,/Could I but teach the hundredth part/Of what from thee I learn.” Also, the fact that the rainbow is above and surpasses all the darkness is shown specifically when the father ends the poem with a conversation about how much he has learned from his son and the appreciation he has. This reassures the message that Woodsworth is trying to give throughout the whole poem, this relationship between father and son prevails through appreciation and love, and the listener can practice that.