Poem introduction

This poem is inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth’s journal.

1801

A beautiful cloudless morning. My toothache better.
William at work on The Pedlar. Miss Gell
left a basket of excellent lettuces; I shelled
our scarlet beans. Walked out after dinner for letters—
met a man who had once been a Captain begging for alms.

The afternoon airy & warm. No letters. Came home
via the lake, which was near-turquoise
& startled by summer geese.
The soles on this year’s boots are getting worn.
Heard a tiny, wounded yellow bird, sounding its alarm.

William as pale as a basin, exhausted with altering.
I boiled up pears with cloves.
Such visited evenings are sharp with love
I almost said dear, look. Either moonlight on Grasmere
                                                                    —like herrings!—
or the new moon holding the old moon in its arms.


from Parallax (Carcanet, 2013), © Sinéad Seadhna Morrissey 2013, used by permission of the author and the publisher.

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