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Selected Poems (1850)

by William Wordsworth

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688425,444 (3.88)19
A pioneering poet of the Romantic movement, William Wordsworth was made Poet Laureate in 1843 for his lyrical innovation.Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition has an introduction by Peter Harness.Selected Poems contains some of Wordsworth's most acclaimed and influential works including an extract from his magnus opus, The Prelude, alongside shorter poems such as 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud', 'To a Skylark' and 'Tintern Abbey'. Wordsworth's poems, more often than not written at his home in Grasmere in the beautiful English Lake District, are lyrical evocations of nature and divinity. They have a force and clarity of language akin to everyday speech which was revolutionary at the time.… (more)
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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 4 of 4
Poem
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
First and for the record: im not a fan of pocket books, i prefer a 100 pages book than a "just smell my writing one"

Second and about the book: Wordsworth have a sense of nature and a large sense of feeling everyone can be used to and can be applied to English poets as a piece of cake. Have seen him before having bought Byron poetry but these were guys who would kill for love in their own way of feeling it and Wordsworth have a way to get us ready for more. ( )
  FlavioPereira | Jul 18, 2020 |
"Surprised by joy--impatient as the Wind" These lines encapsulate some of the feeling engendered by these romantic poems of one of Britain's greatest poets. ( )
  jwhenderson | Jun 17, 2019 |
So, what's special about Wordsworth as a poet? He's often thought of as a radical innovator, even if most of the things he does are not in themselves new. There were other 18th-century poets who wrote about non-exalted subject-matter (ploughmen and peasants, not nymphs and goddesses) and chose their language from the registers of everyday prose; other poets were not afraid to use ballad form when they had a story to tell; other poets wrote in the first person and didn't claim to be objective observers of universal truths; other poets found a pathway to the sublime and transcendent through their experience of the natural world. Just think about Gray, Burns and Goldsmith, for example.

But Wordsworth did all these things more richly, assertively, naturally, consistently and sympathetically than his predecessors. And got richly and assertively mocked for it by critics, like Francis Jeffrey of the Edinburgh Review, who felt that it was ridiculous for a serious poet to waste his time on leech-gatherers, idiot boys, Alice Fell, and aged beggars. Which is ironic, because it is precisely that slightly sentimental sympathetic involvement with the real human stories behind individual suffering that made him so popular with many Victorian readers. (It's also interesting that many of these poems about lower-class "characters" come directly from Dorothy's notes - easy enough to imagine that it was she who inspired him to talk to the people they met when they were out and about and discover their stories.)

The poems about the poet's encounters with nature (Daffodils, skylarks, cuckoos, rainbows, etc.) are more difficult to take seriously, because they have been so cheapened by over-exposure. When we see the line "I wander'd lonely as a cloud", we don't think about clouds, we think of the jokes and parodies and perversions of this line that we all know - I think the first thing that comes to my mind is the 1980s Heineken commercial ("Refreshes the poets other beers cannot reach..."). And I don't see how anyone can still take "My heart leaps up" seriously... But they do often have an unexpected power if you can somehow persuade yourself to read them as though for the first time - that worked for me with "To a skylark", when I suddenly found myself thinking about it as though it had been written by Gerald Manley Hopkins. Which it could easily have been, had Wordsworth not got there first, with something that comes very close to GMH's "sprung rhythm". And "Westminster Bridge" is still as nearly perfect as an English sonnet can be, even if you've heard it badly recited a thousand times. So, there's still plenty in this book that isn't as predictable as you thought it was going to be... ( )
  thorold | Mar 26, 2018 |
Showing 4 of 4
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William Wordsworthprimary authorall editionscalculated
Davies, Damian WalfordEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A pioneering poet of the Romantic movement, William Wordsworth was made Poet Laureate in 1843 for his lyrical innovation.Part of the Macmillan Collector's Library; a series of stunning, clothbound, pocket sized classics with gold foiled edges and ribbon markers. These beautiful books make perfect gifts or a treat for any book lover. This edition has an introduction by Peter Harness.Selected Poems contains some of Wordsworth's most acclaimed and influential works including an extract from his magnus opus, The Prelude, alongside shorter poems such as 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud', 'To a Skylark' and 'Tintern Abbey'. Wordsworth's poems, more often than not written at his home in Grasmere in the beautiful English Lake District, are lyrical evocations of nature and divinity. They have a force and clarity of language akin to everyday speech which was revolutionary at the time.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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