British Landscape Poetry (01:16)
Owen Sheers reflects on poetic inspiration from the English countryside and shares his own work.
Wordsworth in London (00:44)
Although known for his Lake District work, William Wordsworth also appreciated the urban landscape.
"Composed Upon Westminster Bridge" (03:12)
Hear Wordsworth's sonnet written in London on September 3, 1802 and learn how it resonates with contemporary Londoners.
Wordsworth's Lake District (02:59)
Learn the importance of landscape to the English Romantic poet. After wandering throughout Europe, he returned home and purchased a cottage in 1800—where he composed his masterworks.
"A Double Wash Stand" (02:54)
Learn about Wordsworth's relationship with his sister Dorothy. Dove Cottage's poet in residence Adam O'Riordan shares his work, inspired by their artistic legacy.
Wordsworth's Women (02:25)
The poet courted Mary Hutchinson, who joined him and Dorothy at Dove Cottage. Learn about his relationship to Annette Vallon and journey to meet her before marrying.
London Inspiration (03:12)
Hear Dorothy's account of the Thames on their journey to meet Annette in Calais. London residents recite Wordsworth's "Composed on Westminster Bridge."
Analyzing Wordsworth (02:43)
Sheers discusses how the sonnet’s concise construction captures Westminster Bridge imagery. Poet Simon Armitage points out references to nature in the apparent London homage.
Wordsworth in Calais (01:35)
Learn about the poet's journey to meet Annette and his daughter Caroline. Hear Dorothy's account of the month long beach holiday.
"It is a Beauteous Evening" (01:55)
Inspired by Milton, Wordsworth composed 13 sonnets in Calais. Sheers discusses one referencing a walk on the beach with Caroline.
Revolutionizing the Urban Landscape (02:10)
Learn how Wordsworth's 1802 London poems provide a context for "Composed on Westminster Bridge." He challenged traditional notions of beauty in his homage to the city.
"A Vision" (01:24)
Simon Armitage reads his work "A Vision" about contemporary London.
"Westminster Bridge" Legacy (02:01)
Although Wordsworth’s feelings towards Annette and Caroline are unknown, his journey through London in 1802 produced a great urban poem by a natural poet—resonating among readers today.
Credits: On Westminster Bridge: William Wordsworth–Poet's Guide to Britain (00:38)
Credits: On Westminster Bridge: William Wordsworth–Poet's Guide to Britain
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