Thursday, July 13, 2017

William Wordsworth at Tintern Abbey


First there is this from The Writer's Almanac:

It was on this day in 1798 that the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth, while on a walking tour of Wales with his sister, Dorothy, saw the ruins of Tintern Abbey, which inspired his poem "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798." Wordsworth claimed the lines came to him with the greatest of ease, entirely in his head. He said: "No poem of mine was composed under circumstances more pleasant for me to remember than this. I began it upon leaving Tintern, after crossing the Wye, and concluded it just as I was entering Bristol in the evening, after a ramble of four or five days with my notes. Not a line of it was altered, not any part of it written down till I reached Bristol."


And there is this personal postscript:


Even though I said recently that I would be limiting my blogging schedule and focus, the foregoing article about Wordsworth forces me to contradict myself. Yes, I know I know I am an impulsive and fickle fellow. Such is life. Forgive me. So let me ask you a question: Do you have a favorite Wordsworth poem? 





11 comments:

  1. "Tintern Abbey" I return to often. Also "The World Is Too Much With Us."

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    1. Frank, yes, both are also among my favorites. When I first encountered Wordsworth, I was mesmerized by his style and substance. I've been too long away from his poems, so perhaps I will revisit some of them here. I confess that I am seduced by Romanticism, especially "the value of the individual experience (the 'egotistical sublime') together with the sense of the infinite and the transcendental." I hold at arm's length some of the Romantics' political ideas, but their literature continues to interest me. Perhaps I ought to do more here on the Romantics' literature (British and American). Well, time will tell. I tend to make plans but abandon them. There is a peculiar cognitive dissonance going on in my mind. Oh, well. Perhaps that is why one of the early Romantics, William Blake, has been one of my favorite poets. Hmmm.

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  2. R.T.,

    "The World Is Too Much With Us" would have to be my favorite.

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    1. Fred, yes, it's a great poem. But it saddens me so when I read it. Is it just me?

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    2. R.T.,

      Sadness? I don't know. Maybe some regret, for we can't go back.

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  3. Oh, I don't know. "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" came first into my mind. I had a period of loving Wordsworth, but Coleridge is more akin to me, and I go back to him more often.

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    1. Marly, so many poems by both appeal to me. The friendship between Wordsworth and Coleridge remains for me one of the great stories in the history of literature.

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  4. Perhaps I should have mentioned ... this is my favorite by Wordsworth:
    https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/45521/i-wandered-lonely-as-a-cloud

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  5. the Daffodil one; the Prelude(the lake section where he sees the cloud over the mountain), T. Abbey, the ones about rambling over the fells... W is one of those remarkable persons of whom even their more inferior efforts are amazing... Poetry thy name is Wordsworth...

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    1. Mudpuddle, when I have been in the doldrums, Wordsworth has been my rescuer. It's tough to not love those dancing daffodils.

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    2. Forgive the split infinitive error.

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