Monday, 11 August 2014

Wordsworth's Poetical Works

Surprise bonus post!

I’ve posted a couple of poems out of my lovely antique Wordsworth before – but now I’ve finally finished it. It’s taken about 9 months to work my way through it, so it’s kind of a relief to have it out of the way now.

Many of his shorter poems are beautiful and pensive, or stirring with action and violence, but a lot of them, especially the longer ones, were harder to get through. I pride myself on never quitting once I start reading something, but even I couldn’t force myself to finish The Excursion, a 181-page blank verse epic consisting (judging from the first 30 pages or so) of the narrator wandering around the hills chatting to random people he meets and admiring the landscape.

It is a beautiful edition, and pretty old – there’s an inscription at the front dated 1867. Just holding a book that old feels wonderful, and it’s in great condition too considering it’s ex libris. Makes you think not that many people must have wanted to borrow it! Most of the gold leaf on the cover and outer pages remains, and the wonderful smooth leather feels amazing to hold. I wish people put as much effort into bookbinding as they did in those days. A book was forever, not just a throwaway read for the summer holidays, to be left on the train on the way home.

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