Wordsworth is one of my ‘go to’ writers. If you’re going on a trip and you’re not sure what to bring, you can always bring a selected poems by Willy, because you can read him again and again and he’ll never let you down (Wuthering Heights is another one that I can read and, as soon as I’ve finished it, immediately start reading again; I once read it twice in one day).

But, I’m really only a fan of his longer poems. Sure, Intimations with its ‘Splendor in the grass’ gets me going, but overall, it’s the long poems: The PreludeThe ExcursionThe Recluse. And you’ll notice that those are all, for lack of a better descriptor, semi-autobiographical pastoral poems. His long historical poems feel like rather dull epics to me and most of the shorter ones don’t have that slow burning, hypnotic pull. The Prelude is a darn long poem. It’s not Proust long, but it does have that same sort of gentle pacing that pulls you in over the course of time until you’ve entered a sort of literary ‘fugue’ state.