Lecture 26: William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

What is poetry?

“The spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings, … recollected in tranquillity.” 
 Wordsworth’s diction is one that is based on the “real language of men”.
The poem’s subject matter includes situations from common life.”

“The Daffodils”
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.

“Lucy Gray”

Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray: ?
And, when I crossed the wild, 
?I chanced to see at break of day
 ?The solitary child. ??
No mate, no comrade Lucy knew; 
?She dwelt on a wide moor, ?-
The sweetest thing that ever grew 
?Beside a human door! …

Yet some maintain that to this day
 ?She is a living child; ?
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray 
?Upon the lonesome wild. 
O’er rough and smooth she trips along, 
?And never looks behind; ?
And sings a solitary song ?That whistles in the wind.