For many, William Wordsworth probably represents a flashback to a boring few weeks in high school English Lit. class. I know I studied every word of these well-known lines
for memorization and maybe even a pop quiz. Reading Wordsworth's work today may seem a bit old-fashioned, but immersing yourself in the language and in the context of the time period is an instant one-on-one with one of the godfathers of Romanticism
. Wordsworth, along with his pals Samuel Tayloer Coleridge
and Robert Southey
are not only poetic legends of history, but were icons in their own time as well. Together they were known as the "Lake Poets", and I kind of like to think of them as a sort of G-Unit of their day -- with Wordsworth being the 18th/19th century precursor to 50 Cent
. The gang, the shoutouts, the period-specific vernacular ... and let's not forget about the complex line structure just to get that rhyme. Star-Gazers
to Many Men (Wish Death)
... too much of a stretch? Maybe so ... but I think delving into poetry over a hundred years old may just end up illustrating that things aren't all that much different after all, and that the human experience, for whatever it's worth, is often best chronicled in verse.