Top Wordsworth Quotes

Browse top 36 famous quotes and sayings about Wordsworth by most favorite authors.

Favorite Wordsworth Quotes

1. "He [Wordsworth] invited his readers to abandon their usual perspective and to consider for a time how the world might look through other eyes, to shuttle between the human and the natural perspective. Why might this be interesting, or even inspiring? Perhaps because unhappiness can stem from only having one perspective to play with."
Author: Alain De Botton
2. "And I love Jane Austen's use of language too--the way she takes her time to develop a phrase and gives it room to grow, so that these clever, complex statements form slowly and then bloom in my mind. Beethoven does the same thing with his cadence and phrasing and structure. It's a fact: Jane Austen is musical. And so's Yeats. And Wordsworth. All the great writers are musical."
Author: Andrew Clements
3. "We cannot arrive at Shakespeare's whole dramatic way of looking at the world from his tragedies alone, as we can arrive at Milton's way of regarding things, or at Wordsworth's or at Shelley's, by examining almost any one of their important works."
Author: Andrew Coyle Bradley
4. "If people connect me with the Romantics in general, they probably connect me most with Keats. But Wordsworth is the poet I admire above all others."
Author: Andrew Motion
5. "I want to read Keats and Wordsworth, Hemingway, George Orwell."
Author: Aravind Adiga
6. "I was suddenly made aware of another world of beauty and mystery such as I had never imagined to exist, except in poetry. It was as though I had begun to see and smell and hear for the first time. The world appeared to me as Wordsworth describes with "the glory and freshness of a dream." The sight of a wild rosegrowing on a hedge, the scent of lime-tree blossoms caught suddenly as I rode down a hill on a bicycle, came to me like visitations from another world. But it was not only my sensesthat were awakened. I experienced an overwhelming emotionin the presence of nature, especially at evening. It began to have a kind of sacramental character for me. I approached it with a sense of almost religious awe and , in a hush that comes before sunset, I felt again the presence of an almost unfathomable mystery. The song of the birds, the shape of the trees, the colors of the sunset, were so many signs of the presence, which seemed to be drawing me to itself."
Author: Bede Griffiths
7. "When sonneteering Wordsworth re-creates the landing of Mary Queen of Scots at the mouth of the Derwent -Dear to the Loves, and to the Graces vowed,The Queen drew back the wimple that she wore- he unveils nothing less than a canvas by Rubens, baroque master of baroque masters; this is the landing of a TRAGIC Marie de Medicis.Yet so receptive was the English ear to sheep-Wordsworth's perverse 'Enough of Art' that it is not any of these works of supreme art, these master-sonnets of English literature, that are sold as picture postcards, with the text in lieu of the view, in the Lake District! it is those eternally, infernally sprightly Daffodils."
Author: Brigid Brophy
8. "Offered a job as book critic for Time magazine as a young man, Bellow had been interviewed by Chambers and asked to give his opinion about William Wordsworth. Replying perhaps too quickly that Wordsworth had been a Romantic poet, he had been brusquely informed by Chambers that there was no place for him at the magazine. Bellow had often wondered, he told us, what he ought to have said. I suggested that he might have got the job if he'd replied that Wordsworth was a once-revolutionary poet who later became a conservative and was denounced by Browning and others as a turncoat. This seemed to Bellow to be probably right. More interesting was the related question: What if he'd kept that job?"
Author: Christopher Hitchens
9. "The curse that came before history has laid on us all a tendency to be weary of wonders. If we saw the sun for the first time it would be the most fearful and beautiful of meteors. Now that we see it for the hundredth time we call it, in the hideous and blasphemous phrase of Wordsworth, "the light of common day." We are inclined to increase our claims. We are inclined to demand six suns, to demand a blue sun, to demand a green sun. Humility is perpetually putting us back in the primal darkness. There all light is lightning, startling and instantaneous. Until we understand that original dark, in which we have neither sight nor expectation, we can give no hearty and childlike praise to the splendid sensationalism of things."
Author: G.K. Chesterton
10. "In moments of peace such as I experienced that day with Edal there exists some unritual reunion with the rest of creation without which the lives of many are trivial. 'Extinct' applies as much to an essential mental attitude as to the vanished creatures of the earth such as the Dodo. We can no longer await some scientific revelation to avoid the destruction of our species in this context; the evidence is all there, the writing on the wall. The way back cannot be the same for all of us, but for those like myself it means a descent of the rungs until we stand again amid the other creatures of the earth and share to some small extent their vision of it, even though this may be labelled Wordsworthian romanticism."
Author: Gavin Maxwell
11. "A child, more than all other giftsThat earth can offer to declining man,Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts."—WORDSWORTH."
Author: George Eliot
12. "Thou shalt believe in Milton, Dryden, Pope;Thou shalt not set up Wordsworth, Coleridge, Southey;Because the first is crazed beyond all hope,The second drunk, the third so quaint and mouthy."
Author: George Gordon Byron
13. "The seasonal urge is strong in poets. Milton wrote chiefly in winter. Keats looked for spring to wake him up (as it did in the miraculous months of April and May, 1819). Burns chose autumn. Longfellow liked the month of September. Shelley flourished in the hot months. Some poets, like Wordsworth, have gone outdoors to work. Others, like Auden, keep to the curtained room. Schiller needed the smell of rotten apples about him to make a poem. Tennyson and Walter de la Mare had to smoke. Auden drinks lots of tea, Spender coffee; Hart Crane drank alcohol. Pope, Byron, and William Morris were creative late at night. And so it goes."
Author: Helen Bevington
14. "I am a genius who has written poems that will survive with the best of Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Keats."
Author: Irving Layton
15. "Is a picture really worth a thousand words? What thousand words? A thousand words from a lunatic, or a thousand words from Nietzsche? Actually, Nietzsche was a lunatic, but you see my point. What about a thousand words from a rambler vs. 500 words from Mark Twain? He could say the same thing quicker and with more force than almost any other writer. One thousand words from Ginsberg are not even worth one from Wilde. It's wild to declare the equivalency of any picture with any army of 1,000 words. Words from a writer like Wordsworth make you appreciate what words are worth."
Author: Jarod Kintz
16. "I think Wordsworth was as surprised to see me as I was him. It can't be usual to go to your favorite memory only to find someone already there, admiring the view ahead of you."
Author: Jasper Fforde
17. "Miltons were, on the whole, the most enthusiastic poet followers. A flick through the London telephone directory would yield about four thousand John Miltons, two thousand William Blakes, a thousand or so Samuel Colleridges, five hundred Percy Shelleys, the same of Wordsworth and Keats, and a handful of Drydens. Such mass name-changing could have problems in law enforcement. Following an incident in a pub where the assailant, victim, witness, landlord, arresting officer and judge had all been called Alfred Tennyson, a law had been passed compelling each namesake to carry a registration number tattooed behind the ear. It hadn't been well received--few really practical law-enforcement measures ever are."
Author: Jasper Fforde
18. "Jimmy: One day, when I'm no longer spending my days running a sweet-stall, I may write a book about us all. It's all here. (slapping his forehead) Written in flames a mile high. And it won't be recollected in tranquillity either, picking daffodils with Auntie Wordsworth. It'll be recollected in fire, and blood. My blood."
Author: John Osborne
19. "I regret being the cause of your having to endure further gossip, but I felt you must be apprised before you actually married that murderous Scot!"He sneered the word "Scot" again, and in the midst of all her turmoil and terror that foolish thing raised Elizabeth's hackles. "Stop saying ‘Scot' in that insulting fashion," she cried. "And Ian-Lord Thornton-is half-English," she added a little wildly."That leaves him only half-barbarian," Wordsworth countered with scathing contempt."
Author: Judith McNaught
20. "Haunting the library as a kid, reading poetry books when I was not reading bird books, I had been astonished at how often birds were mentioned in British poetry. Songsters like nightingales and Sky Larks appeared in literally dozens of works, going back beyond Shakespeare, back beyond Chaucer. Entire poems dedicated to such birds were written by Tennyson, Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, and many lesser-known poets. I had run across half a dozen British poems just about Sky Larks; Thomas Hardy had even written a poem about Shelley's poem about the Sky Lark. The love of birds and of the English language were intermingled in British literary history.Somehow we Americans had failed to import this English love of birds along with the language, except in diluted form. But we had imported a few of the English birds themselves — along with birds from practically everywhere else."
Author: Kenn Kaufman
21. "One of the effects of indoctrination, of passing into the anglo-centrism of British West Indian culture, is that you believe absolutely in the hegemony of the King's English and in the proper forms of expression. Or else your writing is not literature; it is folklore, or worse. And folklore can never be art. Read some poetry by West Indian writers--some, not all--and you will see what I mean. The reader has to dissect anglican stanza after anglican stanza for Caribbean truth, and may never find it. The anglican ideal -- Milton, Wordsworth, Keats -- was held before us with an assurance that we were unable, and would never be able, to achieve such excellence. We crouched outside the cave."
Author: Michelle Cliff
22. "I do not mean merely in its adding to enthusiasm that intellectual basis which in its strength, or that more obvious influence about which Wordsworth was thinking when he said very nobly that poetry was merely the impassioned expression in the face of science, and that when science would put on a form of flesh and blood the poet would lend his divine spirit to aid the transfiguration. Nor do I dwell much on the great cosmical emotion and deep pantheism of science to which Shelley has given its first and Swinburne its latest glory of song, but rather on its influence on the artistic spirit in preserving that close observation and the sense of limitation as well as of clearness of vision which are the characteristics of the real artist."
Author: Oscar Wilde
23. "Deprivation is for me what daffodils were for Wordsworth."
Author: Philip Larkin
24. "Everyone is a Wordsworth in certain moods, and every traveler seeks out places that every traveler has missed."
Author: Pico Iyer
25. "Solitude, the safeguard of mediocrity, is to genius the stern friend, the cold, obscure shelter where moult the wings which will bear it farther than suns and stars. He who should inspire and lead his race must be defended from travelling with the souls of other men, from living, breathing, reading, and writing in the daily, time-worn yoke of their opinions. "In the morning, — solitude;" said Pythagoras; that Nature may speak to the imagination, as she does never in company, and that her favorite may make acquaintance with those divine strengths which disclose themselves to serious and abstracted thought. 'Tis very certain that Plato, Plotinus, Archimedes, Hermes, Newton, Milton, Wordsworth, did not live in a crowd, but descended into it from time to time as benefactors: and the wise instructor will press this point of securing to the young soul in the disposition of time and the arrangements of living, periods and habits of solitude."
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
26. "Existentialism "every appearance in nature corresponds to some state of the mind," we have entered the familiar Wordsworthian Romantic territory in which nature is phenomena and spirit is noumena and the task of the human person is to draw his being from whatever inscrutable force produces, organizes, and infuses the phenomenal universe —an "ineffable essence which we call Spirit. Being as not being stable but forever in flux and transition. Even history, Which seems obviously about the past, has its true use as the servant of the present.' Emerson and Buddhism stand for spirituality purged of creed detritus.' the essence of Existentialism is that you find meaning in nature, wisdom, mind and body."
Author: Ralph Waldo Emerson
27. "If Newton had not, as Wordsworth put it, voyaged through strange seas of thought alone, someone else would have. If Marie Curie had not lived, we still would have discovered the radioactive elements polonium and radium. But if J. K. Rowling had not been born, we would never have known about Harry Potter. That is why Master Potter means so much to me. Science may be special but Harry, as a work of art, is more so. Harry Potter is unique."
Author: Roger Highfield
28. "I thought about evolutionary historians who argued that walking was a central part of what it meant to be human. Our two-legged motion was what first differentiated us from the apes. It freed our hands for tools and carried us onthe long marches out of Africa. As a species, we colonized the world on foot. Most of human history was created through contacts conducted at walking pace, even when some rode horses. I thought of the pilgrimages to Compostela in Spain; to Mecca; to the source of the Ganges; and of wandering dervishes, sadhus; and friars who approached God on foot. The Buddha meditated by walking and Wordsworth composed sonnets while striding beside the lakes.Bruce Chatwin concluded from all this that we would think and live better and be closer to our purpose as humans if we moved continually on foot across the surface of the earth. I was not sure I was living or thinking any better."
Author: Rory Stewart
29. "We learned in the university to consider Wordsworth and Keats as Romantics. They were only a generation apart, but Wordsworth didn't even read Keats's book when he gave him a copy."
Author: Thom Gunn
30. "Guilt and misery shrink, by a natural instinct, from public notice: they court privacy and solitude: and even in their choice of a grave will sometimes sequester themselves from the general population of the churchyard, as if declining to claim fellowship with the great family of man; thus, in a symbolic language universally understood, seeking (in the affecting language of Mr. Wordsworth)' Humbly to expressA penitential loneliness."
Author: Thomas De Quincey
31. "... All who have brought about a state of sex-consciousness are to blame, and it is they who drive me, when I want to stretch my faculties on a book, to seek it in that happy age ... when the writer used both sides of his mind [the male and female sides of his mind] equally. One must turn back to Shakespeare then, for Shakespeare was androgynous; and so were Keats and Sterne and Cowper and Lamb and Coleridge. Shelley perhaps was sexless. Milton and Ben Jonson had a dash too much of the male in them. So had Wordsworth and Tolstoy."
Author: Virginia Woolf
32. "That sense of a life in natural objects, which in most poetry is but a rhetorical artifice, was, then, in Wordsworth the assertion of what was for him almost literal fact."
Author: Walter Pater
33. "Prior to Wordsworth, humor was an essential part of poetry. I mean, they don't call them Shakespeare comedies for nothing."
Author: William Collins
34. "With ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh,Like stars in heaven, and joyously it showed;Some lying fast at anchor in the road,Some veering up and down, one knew not why.A goodly vessel did I then espyCome like a giant from a haven broad;And lustily along the bay she strode,Her tackling rich, and of apparel high.The ship was nought to me, nor I to her,Yet I pursued her with a lover's look;This ship to all the rest did I prefer:When will she turn, and whither? She will brookNo tarrying; where she comes the winds must stir:On went she, and due north her journey took.William Wordsworth"
Author: William Wordsworth
35. "Almost suspended, we are laid asleep In body, and become a living soul: While with an eye made quiet by the power Of harmony, and the deep power of joy, We see into the life of things. -William Wordsworth(Tintern Abbey)"
Author: William Wordsworth
36. "(COMPARE)- Our birth is but a dream and a forgetting (Wordsworth)- ...so schläft er sehr rasch wieder ein, und schon nach vierundzwanzig Stunden ist es, als sei man niet weg gewesen und als sei die Reise der Traum einer Nacht. (Thomas Mann)- Thetis baptized her mortal son in Styx;A mortal mother would on Lethe fix. (Byron)"
Author: William Wordsworth

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