William Wordsworth - Selected Poems

ISBN-10: 0140424423

ISBN-13: 9780140424423

Edition: 2004 (Revised)

Authors: William Wordsworth, Stephen Gill, Stephen Gill, William Wordsworth

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One of the most enduringly popular of the Romantic poets, William Wordsworth epitomized the spirit of his age with his celebration of the natural world and his belief in the importance of feeling. This volume brings together a rich selection from the most creative period of Wordsworths life from Tintern Abbey, an ode on the restorative powers of nature written during his intense friendship with Coleridge, to excerpts from his epic autobiographical poem, The Prelude. Also included are much-loved short works such as I wandered as lonely as a Cloud, Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, and the poignant Lucy Gray. These poems demonstrate Wordsworths astonishing range, power, and inventiveness, and the sustained and captivating vision that informed his work.
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Book details

List price: $14.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 3/29/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 5.00" wide x 7.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.594
Language: English

William Wordsworth, 1770 - 1850 Born April 7, 1770 in the "Lake Country" of northern England, the great English poet William Wordsworth, son of a prominent aristocrat, was orphaned at an early age. He attended boarding school in Hawkesmead and, after an undistinguished career at Cambridge, he spent a year in revolutionary France, before returning to England a penniless radical. Wordsworth later received honorary degrees from the University of Durham and Oxford University. He is best known for his work "The Prelude", which was published after his death. For five years, Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy lived very frugally in rural England, where they met Samuel Taylor Coleridge. "Lyrical Ballads", published anonymously in 1798, led off with Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner" and ended with Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey". Between these two masterworks are at least a dozen other great poems. "Lyrical Ballads" is often said to mark the beginning of the English romantic revolution. A second, augmented edition in 1800 was prefaced by one of the great manifestos in world literature, an essay that called for natural language in poetry, subject matter dealing with ordinary men and women, a return to emotions and imagination, and a conception of poetry as pleasure and prophecy. Together with Robert Southey, these three were known as the "Lake Poets", the elite of English poetry. Before he was 30, Wordsworth had begun the supreme work of his life, The Prelude, an immensely long autobiographical work on "The Growth of the Poet's Mind," a theme unprecedented in poetry. Although first finished in 1805, The Prelude was never published in Wordsworth's lifetime. Between 1797 and 1807, he produced a steady stream of magnificent works, but little of his work over the last four decades of his life matters greatly. "The Excursion", a poem of epic length, was considered by Hazlitt and Keats to be among the wonders of the age. After "Lyrical Ballads", Wordsworth turned to his own life, his spiritual and poetical development, as his major theme. More than anyone else, he dealt with mysterious affinities between nature and humanity. Poems like the "Ode on the Intimations of Immortality" have a mystical power quite independent of any particular creed, and simple lyrics like "The Solitary Reaper" produced amazingly powerful effects with the simplest materials. Wordsworth also revived the sonnet and is one of the greatest masters of that form. Wordsworth is one of the giants of English poetry and criticism, his work ranging from the almost childishly simple to the philosophically profound. Wordsworth married Mary Hutchinson in 1802 and in 1813, obtained a sinecure as distributor of stamps for Westmoreland. At this stage of his life, Wordsworth's political beliefs had strayed from liberal to staunchly conservative. His last works were published around 1835, a few trickled in as the years went on, but the bulk of his writing had slowed. In 1842 he was awarded a government pension and in 1843 became the Poet Laureate of England, after the post was vacated by his friend Coleridge. Wordsworth wrote over 523 sonnets in the course of his lifetime. Wordsworth died at Rydal Mount on April 23, 1850. He is buried in Grasme Curchyard. He was 80 years old.

Further Reading
A Note on the Texts
Old Man Travelling
The Ruined Cottage
A Night-Piece
The Old Cumberland Beggar
Lines Written at a Small Distance from my House
Goody Blake and Harry Gill
The Thorn
The Idiot Boy
Lines Written in Early Spring
Anecdote for Fathers
We Are Seven
Expostulation and Reply
The Tables Turned
Lines Written a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey
The Fountain
The Two April Mornings
'A slumber did my spirit seal'
Song ('She dwelt among th' untrodden ways')
'Strange fits of passion I have known'
Lucy Gray
'Three years she grew in sun and shower'
The Brothers
Hart-Leap Well
From Home at Grasmere
From Poems on the Naming of Places
To Joanna
'A narrow girdle of rough stones and crags'
'I travelled among unknown Men'
To a Sky-Lark
Alice Fell
To a Butterfly ('Stay near me')
To the Cuckoo
'My heart leaps up when I behold'
To H. C., Six Years Old
'Among all lovely things my Love had been'
To a Butterfly ('I've watched you')
Resolution and Independence
'Within our happy Castle there dwelt one'
'The world is too much with us'
'With Ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh'
'Dear Native Brooks your ways have I pursued'
'Great Men have been among us'
'It is not to be thought of that the Flood'
'When I have borne in memory what has tamed'
'England! the time is come when thou shouldst wean'
Composed by the Sea-Side, near Calais
'It is a beauteous Evening, calm and free'
To Toussaint L'Ouverture
Composed in the Valley, near Dover, on the Day of Landing
Composed Upon Westminster Bridge
London, 1802
'Nuns fret not at their Convent's narrow room'
Yarrow Unvisited
'She was a Phantom of delight'
Ode to Duty
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
'I wandered lonely as a Cloud'
Stepping Westward
The Solitary Reaper
Elegiac Stanzas
A Complaint
St Paul's
'Surprized by joy - impatient as the Wind'
Composed at Cora Linn
Yarrow Visited
To R. B. Haydon, Esq. ('High is our calling, Friend!')
Sequel to the Foregoing [Beggars]
Ode: Composed upon an Evening of Extraordinary Splendor and Beauty
The River Duddon: Conclusion
'The unremitting voice of nightly streams'
Airey-Force Valley
Extempore Effusion Upon the Death of James Hogg
'Glad sight wherever new with old'
At Furness Abbey
'I know an aged Man constrained to dwell'
from The Prelude
Index of Titles
Index of First Lines
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