William Wordsworth inspired me with words about beauty and transcendence…
It is a beauteous Evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven is on the Sea:
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder—everlastingly…
(from ‘It is a beauteous evening, calm and free’ – you can read the whole poem here)
He celebrated nature in accessible language, and reached out to mysteries that lie beyond our responses to natural beauty…
I wandered lonely as a Cloud
That floats on high o’er Vales and Hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden Daffodils;
Beside the Lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:—
A Poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the shew to me had brought:
For oft when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude,
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the Daffodils.
I warmed to the way he wrote so openly about the spiritual consolations of nature. His poem “Tintern Abbey” is an excellent example of this.
In another poem, Wordsworth says that we are born “trailing clouds of glory” – an inspiring thought (‘Intimations of Immortality’).
I hope I may have inspired you to read some moreWordsworth yourself.
‘My Heart Leaps Up’ and ‘Lines Written in Early Spring’ are beautiful short poems to read next, perhaps…