Now it’s winter, so less gardening, no work to do on the allotment, the beach hut coping on it’s own in the wind! I can even forget about the marionettes now that some of our most exciting ones in the collection are hanging in The Grange in Rottingdean (open again in Feb). I want to keep to a modest budget this year and lose some weight so I’m going out less and reading and writing a lot more.
There are some advantages to having more time on one’s hands. Like staying in bed in the warm with a book.
Currently my favourite charity shop find is ‘Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth.’ This records intriguing insights into the day to day life of both herself and Wordsworth. It is a reminder that she must have given considerable support to Wordsworth’s poetry as well as writing her own. There is much about Coleridge too through details of their very close friendship.
Yes, I know that some poets regard him as far too old fashioned and never want to hear about his daffodils ever again! But I love his poems and it is interesting to hear how many of them were inspired directly by his and Dorothy’s surroundings and the people they met. Examples are ‘The Tinker’, ‘The Redbreast’, ‘The Butterfly’ and the more well known ones such as ‘Sonnet Composed upon Westminster Bridge.’
The main body of the book are her Grasmere journals, recording in detail the poetic progress of Wordsworth and often Coleridge but also giving us insights into to their community. There is the woman who had ‘buried four grown up children in one year’, details of the domestic tasks such as organising the laundry, attending a funeral, the tradesmen and the offering of either coins or bread to the many beggars that came to their door. There are also details of the landscape, the food they ate, the people they socialised with, the flowers she was forever collecting to plant in their garden.
I found it gentle, touching, inspirational. Lovely to see how everyday life and events can feed the soul.
A book that one can dip into again and again and be transported into a different world.Now where did I put my journal?
(Sorry no pics in the book these are mine)