Monday, July 13, 2009

Notes for July 13th, 2009


This Day In Writing History

On July 13th, 1798, legendary British poet William Wordsworth, accompanied by his sister Dorothy, visited Tintern Abbey, a ruined church that was the first Cistercian monastery in Wales, and only the second in the United Kingdom. Wordsworth's visit to Tintern Abbey inspired him to write his classic poem of the same name.

The poem Tintern Abbey first appeared in the book Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems, which Wordsworth co-wrote with his friend, poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Published later in 1798, it included Coleridge's classic poem, Rime Of The Ancient Mariner. The first edition sold out within two years. The second edition of the book included a preface article on Romantic poetry.

Tintern Abbey, (its full title is Lines Written A Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey) a blank verse poem that read more like prose, dealt with the fundamental themes of Romantic poetry, including communion with nature, which has a restorative power. The poem also deals with memory, specifically childhood memory and how it affects us as adults. These themes were hugely important in Wordsworth's work.

You can read the complete text of the poem here.


Quote Of The Day

"What is a Poet? He is a man speaking to men: a man, it is true, endowed with more lively sensibility, more enthusiasm and tenderness, who has a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul, than are supposed to be common among mankind; a man pleased with his own passions and volitions, and who rejoices more than other men in the spirit of life that is in him; delighting to contemplate similar volitions and passions as manifested in the goings-on of the Universe, and habitually impelled to create them where he does not find them." - William Wordsworth


Vanguard Video

Today's video is the second in a two-part discussion of the works of Marcel Proust, called The Proust Experience. Enjoy!


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