A Poet! He Hath Put his Heart to School

By William Wordsworth 1770–1850 William Wordsworth

  A poet!—He hath put his heart to school,
Nor dares to move unpropped upon the staff
Which art hath lodged within his hand—must laugh
By precept only, and shed tears by rule.
Thy Art be Nature; the live current quaff,
And let the groveller sip his stagnant pool,
In fear that else, when Critics grave and cool
Have killed him, Scorn should write his epitaph.
How does the Meadow-flower its bloom unfold?
Because the lovely little flower is free
Down to its root, and, in that freedom, bold;
And so the grandeur of the Forest-tree
Comes not by casting in a formal mould,
But from its own divine vitality.

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Poet William Wordsworth 1770–1850

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Subjects Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

Poetic Terms Sonnet

 William  Wordsworth

Biography

Discussing prose written by poets, Joseph Brodsky has remarked, “the tradition of dividing literature into poetry and prose dates from the beginnings of prose, since it was only in prose that such a distinction could be made.” This insight is worth bearing in mind when considering the various prose works of the poet William Wordsworth. For Wordsworth poetic composition was a primary mode of expression; prose was secondary. . . .

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Poems by William Wordsworth

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Poetry & Poets

POET’S REGION England

SCHOOL / PERIOD Romantic

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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