A Selection from the Sonnets of William Wordsworth


Read by Bruce Kachuk

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This is a very impressive collection of some of the best sonnets from the pen of the incomparable William Wordsworth. The appreciation that Wordsworth had for the beauty of his surroundings is vibrantly exhibited in these selections, as are his feelings on love, friendship, society, conflict, history, the supernatural and indeed the art of poetry itself. And what better vehicle for the elegant articulation of a master poet's thoughts and inspirations than the sonnet, an art form ideally suited to assertion, verbalization and contemplation.

In these sonnets, we witness Wordsworth's poetic expertise at its best in superb descriptions of nature's splendor which he astutely juxtaposes with his reflections on a world that is "too much with us," a world in which, "man for brother man has ceased to feel."

The sanctuary that Wordsworth found and which forms the basis for the inspiration displayed in many of these sonnets was the magnificent Lake District of England, which he depicted as, "At happy distance from Earth's groaning field, / Where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars." Such a sanctuary the poet would have wished for us all, and indeed provided the means for at least our vicarious enjoyment in the form of these enduring and timeless works of art.

- Summary by Bruce Kachuk (1 hr 56 min)

Chapters

Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room 1:20 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Scorn not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frowned 1:19 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Written in very Early Youth 1:20 Read by Bruce Kachuk
I watch, and long have watched, with calm regret 1:26 Read by Bruce Kachuk
How clear, how keen, how marvellously bright 1:21 Read by Bruce Kachuk
While not a leaf seems faded; while the fields 1:19 Read by Bruce Kachuk
There is a pleasure in poetic pains 1:17 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Oxford, May 30, 1820 1:19 Read by Bruce Kachuk
A Parsonage in Oxfordshire 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Hail, Twilight, sovereign of one peaceful hour! 1:20 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Mark the concentred hazels that enclose 1:22 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Composed at Rydal on May Morning, 1838 1:23 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Though the bold wings of Poesy affect 1:22 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Pelion and Ossa flourish side by side 1:17 Read by Bruce Kachuk
To Sleep 1:25 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Fond words have oft been spoken to thee, Sleep! 1:23 Read by Bruce Kachuk
The River Eden, Cumberland 1:16 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Surprised by joy - impatient as the Wind 1:23 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Her only pilot the soft breeze, the boat 1:19 Read by Bruce Kachuk
With Ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh 1:16 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Where lies the Land to which yon Ship must go? 1:21 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Sole listener, Duddon! to the Breeze that played 1:17 Read by Bruce Kachuk
What aspect bore the Man who roved or fled 1:20 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Hail to the fields - with dwellings sprinkled o'er 1:23 Read by Bruce Kachuk
The Stepping-Stones 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Whence that low voice? - A whisper from the heart 1:22 Read by Bruce Kachuk
I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide 1:22 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Brook! whose society the poet seeks 1:22 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Methinks that to some vacant hermitage 1:20 Read by Bruce Kachuk
There is a little unpretending Rill 1:20 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Written upon a Blank Leaf in "The Complete Angler" 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Oh Friend! I know not which way I must look 1:24 Read by Bruce Kachuk
The world is too much with us; late and soon 1:20 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour 1:28 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Great men have been among us; hands that penned 1:22 Read by Bruce Kachuk
It is not to be thought of that the Flood 1:19 Read by Bruce Kachuk
When I have borne in memory what has tamed 1:16 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Near Dover 1:22 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Vanguard of Liberty, ye men of Kent 1:22 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Thought of a Briton on the Subjugation of Switzerland 1:25 Read by Bruce Kachuk
An Invasion Being Expected, October 1803 1:22 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Composed in the Valley near Dover, on the Day of Landing 1:28 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Not Love, not War, nor the tumultuous swell 1:22 Read by Bruce Kachuk
To Toussaint L'Ouverture 1:16 Read by Bruce Kachuk
When Philoctetes in the Lemnian Isle 1:19 Read by Bruce Kachuk
When haughty expectations prostrate lie 1:21 Read by Bruce Kachuk
O'er the wide earth, on mountain and on plain 1:21 Read by Bruce Kachuk
On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
By Grasmere Lake 1:21 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Composed by the Sea-Side, Near Calais 1:24 Read by Bruce Kachuk
As leaves are to the tree whereon they grow 1:25 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Adieu, Rydalian Laurels! that have grown 1:20 Read by Bruce Kachuk
The Trosachs 1:19 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Admonition 1:19 Read by Bruce Kachuk
The forest huge of ancient Caledon 1:19 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Aix-la-Chapelle 1:05 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Between Namur and Liège 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Composed on Westminster Bridge, Sept. 3, 1802 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Roman Antiquities 1:14 Read by Bruce Kachuk
The Monument commonly called Long Meg and Her Daughters, near the River Eden 1:12 Read by Bruce Kachuk
There! said a Stripling, pointing with meet pride 1:10 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Mary Queen of Scots 1:09 Read by Bruce Kachuk
In sight of the Town of Cockermouth 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
A Place of Burial in the South of Scotland 1:19 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes 1:11 Read by Bruce Kachuk
In King's College Chapel, Cambridge 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
They dreamt not of a perishable home 1:14 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Rural Ceremony 1:12 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Places of Worship 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Who but is pleased to watch the moon on high 1:13 Read by Bruce Kachuk
The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said 1:16 Read by Bruce Kachuk
With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the sky 1:23 Read by Bruce Kachuk
The stars are mansions built by Nature's hand 1:21 Read by Bruce Kachuk
To a Snow-drop 1:16 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Hark! 'tis the Thrush, undaunted, undeprest 1:25 Read by Bruce Kachuk
I dropped my pen; and listened to the Wind 1:17 Read by Bruce Kachuk
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free 1:14 Read by Bruce Kachuk
To the Cuckoo 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Near Anio's stream, I spied a gentle Dove 1:20 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Composed on a May Morning 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Personal Talk 1:14 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Yet life, you say, "is life; we have seen and see" 1:17 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Wings have we - and as far as we can go 1:17 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Nor can I not believe but that hereby 1:17 Read by Bruce Kachuk
How sweet it is, when mother Fancy rocks 1:21 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Why art thou silent? Is thy love a plant 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
To the Planet Venus, an Evening Star 1:18 Read by Bruce Kachuk
Valedictory Sonnet 1:24 Read by Bruce Kachuk