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William Wordsworth - Creativity and WritingWilliam Wordsworth - Creativity and Writing


William Wordsworth (1770-1850)


English poet (pictured right), famous for describing the beauty of nature.

He lived with his sister, Dorothy (pictured right below), in the English Lake District, which inspired his greatest poems.


What did he say about nature?


William Wordsworth - Creativity and Writing

1. Nature is beauty

He never ceased to wonder at the beauty of nature.

His most famous poem, Daffodils (written in 1804) starts:

 “I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high oe’r vales and hills. When all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils”.


2. Nature is joy

At the end of the Daffodils poem, he reflects on their ability to lift the spirit:

“and then my heart with pleasure fills, and dances with the daffodils”.William Wordsworth - Creativity and Writing

The poem was inspired by daffodils on the shore of Ullswater (pictured right), a beautiful lake in the Lake District.

“Poetry is passion”, he said, and nature inspired that passion.


3. Nature is threatening

He thought that nature (like a storm) could frighten as well as thrill.

 William Wordsworth - Creativity and Writing

4. Nature as a friend

If you love nature, it will love you.

“Nature never did betray the heart that loved her”, he wrote in Tintern Abbey (inspired by the abbey, pictured right), .


5. Nature is in peril

People’s greed and ignorance are nature’s enemies.

In another great poem, Tintern Abbey he called such stupidity:

“the still, sad music of humanity”

 William Wordsworth - Creativity and Writing

6. Nature is God

Wordsworth (pictured right in 1798) believed:

  • God is in nature (called pantheism).
  • to know nature is to know God’s mind.

So nature:

  • tells us about the eternal truths of love, beauty and hope.
  • “feeds upon infinity”, as he wrote in The Prelude.

“Loving God means loving nature”, he said in Tintern Abbey.


7. Nature is reflection

Nature encourages you to think about yourself and your problems such as pain and bereavement.

“To me the meanest flower that blows can give thoughts that too often lie too deep for tears”, he wrote in Ode: Intimations of Immortality.


Key quote on money

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers. (The World Is Too Much With Us).


Key quote on love

The best portion of a good man’s life, his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and of love. (Tintern Abbey)


 Key quote on wisdom

Wisdom is oft times nearer when we stoop than we soar. (The Excursion).


Key quote on peace of mind

I was taught to feel, perhaps too much, the self-sufficing power of solitude (The Prelude).


Key quote on creativity

Imagination...is but another name for absolute power (The Prelude).


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