The Selected Poetry of William Wordsworth

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Overview

Selected Poetry of William Wordsworth represents Wordsworth’s prolific output, from the poems first published in Lyrical Ballads in 1798 that changed the face of English poetry to the late “Yarrow Revisited.” Wordsworth’s poetry is celebrated for its deep feeling, its use of ordinary speech, the love of nature it expresses, and its representation of commonplace things and events. As Matthew Arnold notes, “[Wordsworth’s poetry] is great because of the extraordinary power with which [he] feels the joy offered to us...
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Selected Poetry of William Wordsworth

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Overview

Selected Poetry of William Wordsworth represents Wordsworth’s prolific output, from the poems first published in Lyrical Ballads in 1798 that changed the face of English poetry to the late “Yarrow Revisited.” Wordsworth’s poetry is celebrated for its deep feeling, its use of ordinary speech, the love of nature it expresses, and its representation of commonplace things and events. As Matthew Arnold notes, “[Wordsworth’s poetry] is great because of the extraordinary power with which [he] feels the joy offered to us in nature, the joy offered to us in the simple elementary affections and duties.”
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The poetical performance of Wordsworth is, after that of Shakespeare and Milton . . . undoubtedly the most considerable in our language from the Elizabethan age to the present time.”—Matthew Arnold
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780452007413
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/1/1980
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 5.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark Van Doren (1894–1973) was an American Pulitzer Prize–winning poet and critic who taught English at Columbia University for nearly thirty years.

David Bromwich is a professor of English at Yale Univer-sity and the author of numerous books, including Disowned by Memory: Wordsworth’s Poetry of the 1790s.

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Read an Excerpt

1787—89
An Evening Walk addressed to a young lady General Sketch of the Lakes — Author’s regret of his youth which was passed amongst them —Short description of Noon — Cascade — Noontide Retreat — Precipice and sloping Lights — Face of Nature as the Sun declines — Mountain-farm, and the Cock — Slate-quarry — Sunset — Superstition of the Country connected with that moment — Swans — Female Beggar — Twilight-sounds — Western Lights — Spirits — Night — Moonlight — Hope — Night-sounds — Conclusion.

Far from my dearest Friend, ’tis mine to rove
Through bare grey dell, high wood, and pastoral cove;
Where Derwent rests, and listens to the roar
That stuns the tremulous cliffs of high Lodore;
Where peace to Grasmere’s lonely island leads,
To willowy hedge-rows, and to emerald meads;
Leads to her bridge, rude church, and cottaged grounds,
Her rocky sheepwalks, and her woodland bounds;
Where, undisturbed by winds, Winander sleeps
’Mid clustering isles, and holly-sprinkled steeps;
Where twilight glens endear my Esthwaite’s shore,
And memory of departed pleasures, more.  

Fair scenes, erewhile, I taught, a happy child,
The echoes of your rocks my carols wild:
The spirit sought not then, in cherished sadness,
A cloudy substitute for failing gladness.
In youth’s keen eye the livelong day was bright,
The sun at morning, and the stars at night,
Alike, when first the bittern’s hollow bill
Was heard, or woodcocks roamed themoonlight hill.
In thoughtless gaiety I coursed the plain,
And hope itself was all I knew of pain;
For then, the inexperienced heart would beat
At times, while young Content forsook her seat,
And wild Impatience, pointing upward, showed,
Through passes yet unreached, a brighter road,
Alas! the idle tale of man is found
Depicted in the dial’s moral round;
Hope with reflection blends her social rays
To gild the total tablet of his days;
Yet still, the sport of some malignant power,
He knows but from its shade the present hour.
But why, ungrateful, dwell on idle pain?
To show what pleasures yet to me remain,
Say, will my Friend, with unreluctant ear,
The history of a poet’s evening hear?
When, in the south, the wan noon, brooding still,
Breathed a pale steam around the glaring hill,
And shades of deep-embattled clouds were seen,
Spotting the northern cliffs with lights between;
When crowding cattle, checked by rails that make
A fence far stretched into the shallow lake,
Lashed the cool water with their restless tails,
Or from high points of rock looked out for fanning gales:
When school-boys stretched their length upon the green;
And round the broad-spread oak, a glimmering scene,
In the rough fern-clad park, the herded deer
Shook the still-twinkling tail and glancing ear;
When horses in the sunburnt intake stood,
And vainly eyed below the tempting flood,
Or tracked the passenger, in mute distress,
With forward neck the closing gate to press—
Then, while I wandered where the huddling rill
Brightens with water-breaks the hollow ghyll
As by enchantment, an obscure retreat
Opened at once, and stayed my devious feet.
While thick above the rill the branches close,
In rocky basin its wild waves repose,
Inverted shrubs, and moss of gloomy green,
Cling from the rocks, with pale wood-weeds between;

Copyright 2002 by Edited by Mark Van Doren Introduction by David Bromwich
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Table of Contents

Biographical Note
Introduction
An Evening Walk. Addressed to a Young Lady 3
Descriptive Sketches. Taken during a Pedestrian Tour among the Alps 13
Guilt and Sorrow; or, Incidents upon Salisbury Plain 31
Lines Left upon a Seat in a Yew-tree, Which Stands Near the Lake of Esthwaite, on a Desolate Part of the Shore, Commanding a Beautiful Prospect 51
The Reverie of Poor Susan 53
A Night-Piece 54
We Are Seven 54
Anecdote for Fathers 57
The Thorn 58
Goody Blake and Harry Gill. A True Story 66
Her Eyes Are Wild 69
Simon Lee, the Old Huntsman; with an Incident in Which He Was Concerned 73
Lines Written in Early Spring 75
To My Sister 76
"A Whirl-Blast from Behind the Hill" 77
Expostulation and Reply 78
The Tables Turned. An Evening Scene on the Same Subject 79
The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman 80
The Last of the Flock 82
The Idiot Boy 85
Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour July 13, 1798 99
The Old Cumberland Beggar 103
Animal Tranquillity and Decay 108
Peter Bell. A Tale 109
The Simplon Pass 142
Influence of Natural Objects in Calling Forth and Strengthening the Imagination in Boyhood and Early Youth 142
There Was a Boy 144
Nutting 145
"Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known" 147
"She Dwelt among the Untrodden Ways" 147
"I Travelled Among Unknown Men" 148
"There Years She Grew in Sun and Shower" 148
"A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal" 150
A Poet's Epitaph 150
Matthew 152
The Two April Mornings 153
The Fountain. A Conversation 155
Lucy Gray; or, Solitude 157
Ruth 159
"Bleak Season Was It, Turbulent and Wild" 166
"On Nature's Invitation Do I Come" 167
The Prelude; or, Growth of a Poet's Mind. An Autobiographical Poem 168
The Recluse 380
The Brothers 402
Michael. A Pastoral Poem 414
The Pet-Lamb. A Pastoral 427
The Waterfall and the Eglantine 429
The Oak and the Broom. A Pastoral 431
Hart-leap Well 435
The Childless Father 440
The Sparrow's Nest 441
The Sailor's Mother 441
Alice Fell; or, Poverty 443
To a Butterfly 444
"My Heart Leaps Up When I Behold" 445
"Among All Lovely Things My Love Had Been" 445
Written in March, While Resting on the Bridge at the Foot of Brother's Water 446
To a Butterfly 447
To the Small Celandine 447
Resolution and Independence 449
"I Grieved for Buonaparte" 454
A Farewell 454
Composed upon Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1802 456
Composed by the Sea-side, near Calais, August, 1802 456
Calais, August, 1802 457
"It Is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free" 457
On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic 458
To Toussaint L'Ouverture 458
Composed in the Valley near Dover, on the Day of Landing 459
Near Dover, September, 1802 459
In London, September, 1802 460
London, 1802 460
"England! The Time Is Come When Thou Should'st Wean" 460
"Great Men Have Been Among Us" 461
"It Is Not to Be Thought of That the Flood" 461
"When I Have Borne in Memory" 462
Stanzas Written in My Pocket-Copy of Thomson's "Castle of Indolence" 462
To H. C. Six Years Old 464
The Green Linnet 465
Yew-trees 466
Stepping Westward 467
The Solitary Reaper 468
Yarrow Unvisited 469
October, 1803 471
To the Men of Kent. October, 1803 472
In the Pass of Killicranky, an Invasion Being Expected, October, 1803 472
Lines on the Expected Invasion, 1803 473
To the Cuckoo 473
"She Was a Phantom of Delight" 474
"I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" 475
The Affliction of Margaret 476
The Small Celandine 478
Ode to Duty 479
"When to the Attractions of the Busy World" 481
Elegiac Stanzas, Suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle, in a Storm, Painted by Sir George Beaumont 484
To a Young Lady, Who Had Been Reproached for Taking Long Walks in the Country 486
The Waggoner 486
French Revolution, As It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement. Reprinted from the Friend 509
Character of the Happy Warrior 510
Star-Gazers 512
"Nuns Fret Not at Their Convent's Narrow Room" 513
Personal Talk 514
"The World Is Too Much with Us; Late and Soon" 515
"With Ships the Sea Was Sprinkled Far and Nigh" 516
"Where Lies the Land to Which Yon Ship Must Go?" 516
To Sleep 517
To Sleep 517
To Sleep 518
To the Memory of Raisley Calvert 518
"Methought I Saw the Footsteps of a Throne" 519
November, 1806 519
Ode. Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood 520
Thought of a Briton on the Subjugation of Switzerland 526
"Though Narrow Be That Old Man's Cares" 526
Song at the Feast of Brougham Castle, upon the Restoration of Lord Clifford, the Shepherd, to the Estates and Honours of His Ancestors 527
The White Doe of Rylstone; on the Fate of the Nortons 531
The Excursion, Book I 581
Laodamia 608
Yarrow Visited, September, 1814 613
"Surprised by Joy - Impatient as the Wind" 616
Ode to Lycoris. May, 1817 616
Composed upon an Evening of Extraordinary Splendour and Beauty 618
The River Duddon. A Series of Sonnets 620
Ecclesiastical Sonnets. In Series. (A Selection) 635
Pt. I. From the Introduction of Christianity into Britain, to the Consummation of the Papal Dominion 635
Pt. II. To the Close of the Troubles in the Reign of Charles I 638
Pt. III. From the Restoration to the Present Times 639
"Scorn Not the Sonnet" 641
Yarrow Revisited 642
"If Thou Indeed Derive Thy Light from Heaven" 645
"If This Great World of Joy and Pain" 646
"Most Sweet It Is with Unuplifted Eyes" 646
To a Child. Written in Her Album 647
Preface to the Second Edition of "Lyrical Ballads," 1800 649
Appendix, 1802 671
Notes 677
Index of Titles 751
Index of First Lines 756
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2004

    The overflow of spontaneous emotion recollected in tranquillity

    One major element of the greatness of Wordsworth is his meditation on the visionary gleam of youth lost, and its replacement by a quieter calmer more sober love of nature and humanity. His simplicity of language and his inherent dignity continually invoke the sublime. He too writes lines so classically beautiful that one thinks naturally that G-d wrote some of these lines and simply made Wordworth his agent in writing them down. But in any case in all cases this is an outstanding collection of one of the finest of all English poets.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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