I’ve been bad about posting poetry so far this, even though I have been thinking about posts nearly every day. I’ve been a bit distracted as my husband has pneumonia/flu and has been out of commission since Friday. Last night was the first night I’ve gotten good sleep in about a week. I intend to resolve that discrepancy by posting today about William Wordsworth.
This Romantic-era poet was born April 7, in the year 1770. He is credited with helping to found the Romantic Movement in English poetry, which he did with the help of fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. His parents died when he was very young and he and his four siblings grew up with different relatives. His love of nature developed early, and is evident in poems created throughout his life. He really started up writing poetry when he was at Cambridge University, during a European tour of Switzerland and France. He became very vocal about his beliefs in the ideals of the French Revolution. According to the BBC, “In 1795, Wordsworth received a legacy from a close relative and he and his sister Dorothy went to live in Dorset. Two years later they moved again, this time to Somerset, to live near the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who was an admirer of Wordsworth’s work. They collaborated on ‘Lyrical Ballads’, published in 1798.” This collection was not well-received by critics. In 1799, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy moved to Dove Cottage in Grasmere (in the Lake Country). In 1802, he married a childhood friend, Mary Hutchinson.
“His political views underwent a transformation around the turn of the century, and he became increasingly conservative, disillusioned by events in France culminating in Napoleon Bonaparte taking power.In 1813, Wordsworth moved from Grasmere to nearby Ambelside. He continued to write poetry, but it was never as great as his early works. After 1835, he wrote little more. In 1842, he was given a government pension and the following year became poet laureate.Wordsworth died on 23 April 1850 and was buried in Grasmere churchyard. “
The first poem is the only one I really know of his, and I like it, so I decided to include it. The second and third ones, I just liked the language of them. I have included a link to the interpretation of the third poem.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A Poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
It is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free, The holy time is quiet as a Nun Breathless with adoration; the broad sun Is sinking down in its tranquility; The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the Sea; Listen! the mighty Being is awake, And doth with his eternal motion make A sound like thunder—everlastingly. Dear child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here, If thou appear untouched by solemn thought, Thy nature is not therefore less divine: Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year; And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine, God being with thee when we know it not.
Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland Lass! Reaping and singing by herself; Stop here, or gently pass! Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy strain; O listen! for the Vale profound Is overflowing with the sound. No Nightingale did ever chaunt More welcome notes to weary bands Of travellers in some shady haunt, Among Arabian sands: A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird, Breaking the silence of the seas Among the farthest Hebrides. Will no one tell me what she sings?— Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow For old, unhappy, far-off things, And battles long ago: Or is it some more humble lay, Familiar matter of to-day? Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, That has been, and may be again? Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang As if her song could have no ending; I saw her singing at her work, And o'er the sickle bending;— I listen'd, motionless and still; And, as I mounted up the hill, The music in my heart I bore, Long after it was heard no more.