Ode to Friday: Wordsworth

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come,
From God who is our home.

~ From Ode on Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth (English, 1770-1850). With thanks to Steven Pressfield for the reminder.

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7 thoughts on “Ode to Friday: Wordsworth

  1. Ah Willy, a man of many words this William Wordsworth. A kind of old friend from my early days of interest and readings of poetry; includes of course Intimations of Immortality, from his childhood recollections. Stayed with me for a long time, this very beautiful, very long eleven verse poem. The fifth verse ‘Our birth is but sleep…etc’ of which you refer to in your Ode to Friday. Great indeed, and I thank you for bringing it back to life for me with your posting of that fifth verse.

    His words on the subject of birth may have remained in my subconscious, ergo my recent posting on Poetry on a canapé, of “ The Prodigy ” ~ of conception ~ However his inspirations were from the 18th century and his God, and though timeless and beautiful, no influence on my Prodigy, influenced of which came form the 21st century and a mother’s life that created my world.

    Alas our world is full of varied influences, from birth to death, from tragedy to comedy but ever interesting.

    Jean-Jacques Fournier

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    • And as the poem says, we all are. All of God, all from afar, all beginning as “wisps of undifferentiated Being” as Kurt Vonnegut puts it in a story. Only we’ve forgotten or mostly forgotten. We have our glimpses of it …

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