Select Pieces from the Poems of William Wordsworth
London: Bradbury and Evans
John Keats identified William Wordsworth’s poetics as a key example of the ‘egotistical sublime’. But Wordsworth's poetic style was shaped by family relationships. Orphaned at the age of thirteen, Wordsworth (1770-1850) included significant references in his poetry to his sister Dorothy (in ‘Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey’) and to his late brother John (in ‘Elegiac Stanzas’). The magnitude of his debt to Dorothy (1771-1855) only became apparent in the late nineteenth century, when excerpts from her private writings were published. Dorothy’s journal entry for 15 April 1802 offers a skilful and poetic description of the landscape, highlighted by a glorious field of daffodils by a lake. In his famous poem, ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’, Wordsworth transformed their shared experience into a solitary visitor’s reflection on nature and the power of memory.
William Wordsworth, “Select Pieces from the Poems of William Wordsworth,” ourheritage.ac.nz | OUR Heritage, accessed June 3, 2023, https://otago.ourheritage.ac.nz/items/show/10196.