The English poet William Wordsworth began and ended his life in April. He was born on April 17th 1770, and died on April 23rd 1850. In 1843 he was made poet laureate.
Wordsworth is associated with the English Lake District, where he began and ended his life. A lot of his work celebrates the beauty of Nature and the English countryside. The Wordsworth poem I know best is the one about daffodils, which many of my generation were expected to learn by heart at school – “I wandered lonely as a cloud…” and so on. The poem was inspired by Wordsworth’s sister Dorothy, who recorded her impressions of the daffodils in her journal in April 1802.
The trouble with poems like Wordsworth’s Daffodils, and some well-known bits of Shakespeare, is that they’ve become devalued through being force-fed to generations of schoolchildren who didn’t understand them, but recited them in a da-de-dah sort of sing-song voice. Then there’s the bit about lying on his couch, “in vacant or in pensive mood”, which sounds a bit soppy. P G Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster might have been inclined to call anyone who lay about on couches, dreaming about daffodils, “a drooper”, which is how he described Madeleine Basset; “one of those soppy girls riddled from head to foot with whimsy”.