Wordsworth: Selected Poems (Everyman) Paperback – 7 Apr 1994
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As the Introduction points out (Page ix): "One of the basic tenets of Wordsworth's philosophy is that the world and everything in it, man included, are good and that it is mankind's fundamental duty to enjoy 'the air that it breathes.'" The poet, in his view, has the responsibility of advancing that perspective among people. Put another way by the editor of this volume (Page x): "To be happy, man must become familiar with and adjust to the immutable laws of nature."
The volume itself features a number of Wordsworth's better known and more important works, such as "Preface to Lyrical Ballads," in which he speaks of his views of poetry (in prose). There follow poems, such as "Lucy Gray," "Strange Fits of Passion I Have Known," "She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways," "I Travelled among Unknown Men," "Great Men Have Been among Us," "To Toussaint L'Ouverture," "The World Is too Much with Us," "She Was a Phantom of Delight," and so on. In short, there is enough here to get a sense of the art of Wordsworth.
A couple brief examples (some of my favorites) of his work:
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
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."
The World Is too Much with Us
"The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!"
The words in the latter are touching still, as humanity tries to deal with the problems facing the environment, oftentimes losing sight of the wonder of nature and how we are exploiting and degrading it.
At any rate, a nice introduction to the art of William Wordsworth.
Wordsworth combines the simple and sublime as no other poet does. His relation to Nature is deep and fresh, and yet too humble and moral, wild and beautiful. His direct experiential mode of meeting Nature in youth, is transformed into something far greater in his meditative and reflective relation to it . Wordsworth somehow brings to his meetings with nature a noble cast of mind. So too in his moral sentiment there is not a preaching narrowness, but a broad vision of something far more deeply interfused . Wordsworth in giving everyday life and perception a sense of the sublime is somehow a religious poet. The sense of something sublime that flows through all things is too a sense of something Divine.
Reading Wordsworth is receiving the sense that life too and our experience have a dimension of beauty and nobility which make them supremely worthwhile.
Reading Wordsworth one feels that one is lifted up to one's own better nature.
And this too when there are in him immortal lines, which like ' the best part of a good man's life is small acts of kindness and of love' are unforgettable.
Wordsworth has a deep respect and love of nature. He has a mystical quality in his poetry. In "Intimations of Immortality," he asserts that children are closer to God than the rest of humanity. While some may dispute such reasoning, Wordsworth provides food for thought. He describes the beautiful scenery of landscapes, such as in "Yarrow." His poem "The Daffodils" makes one imagine a scene of loveliness and serenity.
Wordsworth is versatile and could write equally as well about humanity as about nature. He described some poignant scenes, such as an old poor man who caught leeches for money in "Resolution and Independence." His rhyme scheme is aesthetically pleasing. He experimented with different formats including traditional sonnets.
Wordsworth is one of my favorite poets. I was introduced to him when I took a course in British literature in college. He was a pioneer when he co-wrote the Lyrical Ballads with Samuel Coleridge. His works stir the emotions, encourage contemplation of spiritual and metaphysical matters, and promote the enjoyment of nature. It is a real treat to read his poems.