Today in History: William Wordsworth Is Born
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.
- Wordsworth. (1901, Aug 02). Poems You Ought to Know. Boston Daily Globe (1872-1922)
- Wordsworth, W. (1911, Nov 25). School Reader Poems. Boston Daily Globe (1872-1922)
- Kitchin, G. (1950, Apr 22). Wordsworth: 1770-1850 Poetry and a Design for Living. The Scotsman (1921-1950)
- Wordsworth: Recollections. (1970, Apr 14). The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- Bhate, M. G. (1950, Apr 23). Leader of Romantic Poets. The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Genius Its Own Witness. (1950, Sep 23). The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- Millar, N. (1970, Apr 07). Wordsworth. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- The Loose-Leaf Library: William Wordsworth above Tintern Abbey. (1987, Apr 07). The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- Wordsworth, J. (1988, Feb 02). Wordsworth on Wordsworth. The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current File)
- Sheats, P. D. (1989, Jun 11). It Wasn’t All Daffodils. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Birkerts, S. (1989, Jul 16). Wordsworth: From Poet to Country Gentleman. Chicago Tribune (1963-Current File)
- McWilliams, B. (1995, Apr 07). Wordsworth Remembered. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- 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.
Need to keep current, look to the past, teach a topic? The Everett Cafe features daily postings of news from around the world, and also promotes awareness of historical events from an educational context.