Read a selection of poems from William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was born on 7th April 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland and was a major English Romantic poet. Wordsworth helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads with Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Britain’s Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850, Wordsworth’s masterpiece was The Prelude, which was published posthumously by his wife Mary.
Equally important in the poetic life of Wordsworth was his 1795 meeting with the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. It was with Coleridge that Wordsworth published the famous Lyrical Ballads in 1798. While the poems themselves are some of the most influential in Western literature, it is the preface to the second edition that remains one of the most important testaments to a poet’s views on both his craft and his place in the world. In the preface Wordsworth writes on the need for “common speech” within poems and argues against the hierarchy of the period which valued epic poetry above the lyric.
William Wordsworth died of pleurisy on 23rd April 1850, and was buried at St. Oswald’s church in Grasmere.