Friday, September 22, 2006

POETRY CORNER: William Wordsworth

The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not. -- Great God! I'd rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreath├Ęd horn.
Hey, what do you know? Sometimes poetry does make you feel better.


Anonymous said...

I have a friend who, with some other of her friends, created a Wordsworth holiday. One day, in some poetry class they were taking, the professor was reading from a diary(?) of some woman(?) close to William. One of the entries was thus:

"Wm had slept very ill -- he was tired and had a bad headache."

And that day (which they remember, and I don't) forever became "William Had A Headache"-Day. Which, much like New Year's Day, is not much memorable for the day itself, but for the intense drinking/partying of the night before to produce a worthy headache for the holiday.

I don't remember the date. I don't know much about Wordsworth. I only really remember the drinking part.

trophycase said...

I just got back from 5 days on Cortes Island. I was camping with my kids while their mother confered with Web of Change. We spent the days turning rocks to watch the crabs run for cover.

How's your island retreat coming along?

I'm starting to see how people deal on the wet coast.

The Prufroquette said...

Stumbled across this because of the backlink. :)

I am one of the persons referred to by Cap'n Ganch who started Wm Had a Headache Day!

The holiday originated with a reading of Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journals, wherein the woman wrote worshipfully of her brother and seemed totally unconscious of her own brilliant writing, and of the many lines her brother blatantly lifted from her journals. We felt sorry for her, and were tired of reading the three endless versions of Wordsworth's endless poetic autobiography of the development of his poetical genius. So we created the holiday based on the above-mentioned line from the January 31, 1802, entry of Dorothy's journal.

You celebrate by going out with a group of poetry lovers (or alcoholics) on the night of January 30th and imbibing copious amounts of alcohol while reading Wordsworth's most self-affected poetry in stentorian, grandiose tones; then once that fun wears off you read aloud or recite whatever poetry comes into your fume-riddled brain. You can even recite your own compositions.

The point of all of it is to be able, at last, to connect with this great self-conscious verbose genius, and, the following morning, to be able to say that, like Wm., you too slept very ill, are tired and have a bad headache.

We want to see this holiday on the calendar someday...