This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.



Saturday, 9 May 2015

Saturday Rave: Grasmere Journal. Dorothy Wordsworth.

Let's start, not with Dorothy, but with Virginia:

'Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of a man at twice his natural size.'

That's from Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own.

People argue about Dorothy Wordsworth. Was it really Dorothy who wrote her brother William's poems? It's said that she changed his I wandered lonely as a cow to I wandered lonely as a cloud.


Dorothy Mae Ann Wordsworth

Could a man who'd come up with cow in that line really have a clue what he was doing?

Well, I expect so. I don't know how much influence Dorothy had on William, and neither does anyone else. Perhaps the influence was nearly all the other way round. Perhaps cow was a joke. 

 'I should detest the idea of setting myself up as an author,' Dorothy once wrote, 'give Wm. the Pleasure of it.'

But did she mean it? 

Perhaps.

What's certain is that in her Grasmere Journal Dorothy Wordsworth shows the same sort of reverence for Nature as her famous brother.

'We saw a raven very high above us. It called out, and the dome of the sky seemed to echo the sound. It called again and again as it flew onwards, and the mountains gave back the sound, seeming as if from their centre; a musical bell-like answering to the bird's hoarse cries.'

Grasmere Journal, 27 July 1800.

And what's also certain is that Dorothy could really write.



Word To Use Today: raven. This word comes from the Old English hrǣfn.


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