The Prelude, inspired by Milton's Paradise Lost, is a thirteen-book account of the development of Wordsworth's poetic mind. The poem's early books trace the childhood adventures of young Wordsworth with a focus on his increasing identification with the vocation of poet. To begin, it's helpful to briefly review those scenes of play in Book 1 of The Prelude and to consider one of the common—and useful—defining features of play: spontaneity. Certainly the eighteenth-century "aesthetic of surprise," as Christopher Miller notes, popularized supposedly "spontaneous" interruptions within texts so that readers experienced their own kind of authentic, if by proxy, moment. How might the transitional and transformational objects assist us in understanding spontaneous play and its relationship to poetic composition in The Prelude? that the boy's playful interactions with nature elicit the connections between infant and mother has become relatively commonplace in criticism about the poem.