Life and Works of William Wordsworth
Life of William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth the poet, the prophet of Nature, was born in 1770 in Cocker Mouth, Cumberland in the beautiful lake country of Northern England. He received his education at the Grammar School of Hawkshead and at St. John’s College, Cambridge. After taking a degree at Cambridge University, he went on a walking tour in France, the Alps and Italy in 1790. He returned to France and spent there sometime. The revolutionary movement in France exercised a strong influence on him. While in France he fell in love with Annetta Vallon, a daughter of a surgeon. She bore him a daughter named Caroline. After the execution of Louis XVI and the reign of terror, Wordsworth felt disillusioned. He returned to England in 1793. In the year he published ‘An Evening Walk‘ and descriptive sketches.
In 1795 Wordsworth met Coleridge at Racedown. Two years later in 1779 Wordsworth and Coleridge move to Somersetshire. In 1798 they published jointly “Lyrical Ballads” a book containing 23 poems which revolutionized the English poetic diction. Wordsworth contributed in it 19 poems including “Lines written a few miles above the “Tintern Abbey” Coleridge contributed his famous poem. ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.’ At the end of this year Wordsworth, Dorothy (Wordsworth’s sister) and Coleridge went to Germany. Here Wordsworth began an autobiographical poem named ‘Prelude’. He also wrote Ruth. ‘Lucy Gray’, ‘Nutting’ and ‘Lines on Lucy’ In 1800 he published the second edition of ‘Lyrical Ballads’ with a critical essay named ‘Observation; expounding Wordsworth’s theory of poetry”. In this year he wrote Michael’ a pastoral poem. He married Marry Hutchinson in 1802. Three years later he completed ‘Prelude’. In 1807 he completed ‘Intimations of Immortality and Sonnets.’ He was appointed the poet laureate in succession to Robet Sourthey in 1843. He died in the age of eighty in 1850.
Works of William Wordsworth
Lyrical Ballad’s (1798)-It was published in collaboration of Coleridge. It consists of 23 poems in which Wordsworth contributed 19 “Lines Written a few Miles Above the Tintern Abbey” was the first published in this book. In preface to the second edition Wordsworth expounds his principles of poetry. Wordsworth declared that so far as the subject-matter was concerned his “principle object was to choose incidents and situation from common life, and language realized by men.”
The Prelude-It was written between 1799 and 1805. It is a narrative autobiographical poem consisting of 14 books in blank verse. This poem may be regarded as a record of “the growth of poet’s mind. The poem reviews the spiritual development of the poet.
The Excursion-This poem consists of nine books and is written in blank verse. It was published in 1814. The poem is middle portion of a great philosophical poem ‘On man, ‘on Nature’ and on ‘human life’ in three parts designed by the poet but of which this alone was completed.
Michael (1800)-It is a pastoral poem which narrates the tragedy of an old shepherd’s shattered hopes. It is written in a very direct, simple and unaffected style marked by pathos and sincerity.
Lucy Poem (1799)-Wordsworth wrote five short lyrics in Germany. In it Wordsworth attains a rare tenderness and exquisite simplicity of expression. No one knows who was Lucy?
Ode on the Intimations of Immorality from Recollections of early Childhood-This is an irregular ode consisting of eleven stanzas. It was written partly in 1802 and 1807. It is a masterpiece of lyrical utterance. The theme has pre-existence of human soul.
Sonnets-Wordsworth wrote about five-hundred sonnets. He is one of the greatest sonneteers in English literature. Among his best may be mentioned the sonnet Om Milton’. ‘On Westminster Bridge The World is too Much with Us.’, ‘Late and Soon.’
English Literature— Important links
- Absalom and Achitophel (John Dryden)- Introduction & Summary
- Explanations of Absalom and Achitophel (Line by line analysis)
- Critical appreciation of “The False Achitophel” by John Dryden
- Dryden as a Satirical Poet
- Poetry of Dryden: As Classical Poet, As Versatile Genius etc.
- Alexander Pope’s poetry- Pope as Satirist, Lyricist, Classicist etc.
- “Essay on Man” by Alexander Pope, Epistles II (Complete Explanation)
- Critical Appreciation of the poem “Nurse’s Song” (By William Blake)
- Nurse’s Song by William Blake | Summary & Complete Explanation
- Life and Work of William Blake- Birth, Education, Poetic Work etc.
- “Tintern Abbey” by Wordsworth- Introduction and summary
- Tintern Abbey- Line by Line Explanation (1 to 10 Context Stanza-wise)
- Tintern Abbey Stanza-wise Explanation (11 to 16 Context)
- Tintern Abbey Summary in Hindi | (कविता का सारांश)
- The World is Too Much With Us- Summary & Stanza-wise Explanation
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