"Dwelling wih the Dead" -Two Wordsworth Texts
On July 2, 2013, Prof. Joshua Wilner (City University of New York) gave a talk on William Wordsworth's poem "We Are Seven".
In his talk, Prof. Wilner discussed two Wordsworth texts, one by William and one by his sister Dorothy, in which the resting places of the dead and the dwelling places of the living interpenetrate.
The talk concluded a two-week seminar on Wordsworth's Prelude Prof. Wilner gave to MA students at Bamberg.
Both events were part of the Englischsprachiges Programm at the University of Bamberg.
As part of the full seminar, students discussed Wordsworth's autobiography in verse, The Prelude or, Growth of a Poet's Mind, a work which is increasingly recognized as paradigmatic for an understanding not only of Wordsworth but of Romanticism. They examined the circumstances which both gave rise to the project early in Wordsworth's career but also delayed its publication until after Wordsworth's death. They did close readings of sections of the poem which have served as cruxes of interpretative discussion, including the Boat-stealing episode in Book I, the Blessed Babe passage in Book II, the Winander Boy in Book V, the Crossing of Simplon Pass in Book VI, the Blind Beggar episode in Book VII, the Spots of Time Passage in Book XI, and the Ascent of Snowdon in Book XIII. The seminar was concerned with how individual passages relate to the overall design of the poem – if there is one, and with the implicit formal system which connects the poet's relation to his memories and the reader's relation to the poet's text.