Today in History: William Wordsworth Is Born

| April 7, 2017


OH there is blessing in this gentle breeze,
A visitant that while it fans my cheek
Doth seem half-conscious of the joy it brings
From the green fields, and from yon azure sky.
Whate’er its mission, the soft breeze can come
To none more grateful than to me; escaped
From the vast city, where I long had pined
A discontented sojourner: now free,
Free as a bird to settle where I will.
What dwelling shall receive me? in what vale
Shall be my harbour? underneath what grove
Shall I take up my home? and what clear stream
Shall with its murmur lull me into rest?
The earth is all before me.

— William Wordsworth, The Prelude, Book First, Introduction – Childhood and School – Time

On April 7, 1770, William Wordsworth, one of the founders of Romantic poetry and poet laureate of England, was born in Cockermouth, Cumbria, near the Lake District. He was one of five siblings who suffered the early loss of their parents and was sent to live with various relatives. Although his interest in writing became evident at school and during his years at The University of Cambridge, Wordsworth’s poetry was not published until 1793, following time abroad in France and Switzerland. His collaboration with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, another poet who greatly admired his work, led to the publication of Lyrical Ballads (1798) which marked the beginning of the Romantic movement. The Prelude, Wordsworth’s great autobiographical poem was published after the poet’s death in 1850.

The following articles are selected from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.


  • It’s National Poetry Month! Be sure to check out additional resources on our news feed.
  • If you happen to see the poster, sweet pea is for Poetry and a reminder of Spring.

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