Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood by William Wordsworth
Blossoming! I saw this same tree yesterday but didn’t have my camera, so it was good to find it in my back collection, and realise I’ve loved it before. The picture does not do the reality justice – the centres of the white blossoms are dark pink.
Thinking of the surprise of finding lovely stuff growing – last night I was looking at The Reader’s videos on You Tube, trying to decide what I should show when I go to Uppsala next week, and I was surprised and delighted when I stumbled across a film from Shared Reading New South Wales. I didn’t know there was Shared Reading in NSW! My colleague Megg tells me that Christopher started out in one of her groups in Kensington and Chelsea and then did Read to Lead…great to see Shared Reading seeds settling around the world.
This morning I continued reading All The Days of My Life and found there are many poems I’d like to read – I’d forgotten that I used to really love Dennis Haskell’s ‘One Clear Call’, a moving poem about Tennyson’s ‘Crossing The Bar’ and the reality of poetry. I used often to read the two poems together.
But I came to ‘Intimations of Immortality’ and thought, it is always worth rereading and I wondered if many people running Shared Reading groups ever simply do a whole long poem like this? This is perfect for an hour and a half, maybe two hours reading, though you have to watch the time – because really it’s a four-hour poem. Sometimes I meet people who tell me that Shared Reading means reading a short story and poem. And I say, no, Shared Reading is about sharing the reading, not the format of the reading matter. You might read a scene from Hamlet and no poem. Or you might be a starting out on a novel and want only the novel because you’ve got to concentrate and it is hard to find the time. Or you might decide to read a longish poem.
If you were reading this poem, you’d start by knowing that some people in your group would find the length and the language off-putting, so the first job is to make sure you really love it before you take it along, or if love is not yet possible, at least you need to think you might really love it if you got into it. You’ve got to trust it to work out.
Thought I might read a little each day this week. There’s a link to the whole poem here.