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Today in Literature

April 7, 2009

7 April 1770: British Romantic poet William Wordsworth was born on this day in Cockermouth, England. One of Wordsworth’s best known collections of poems is Lyrical Ballads (published with poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge too) that includes Wordsworth’s “Preface” that functions as a manifesto for Romantic poetry. The most quoted section of the preface reads, “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.”

To celebrate his birthday, I suggest we take a moment to quietly sit and read “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal” and reflect on the day.

A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal

A SLUMBER did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seem’d a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.
No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Roll’d round in earth’s diurnal course
With rocks, and stones, and trees.
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