A selection of William Wordsworth poems, as chosen by Seamus Heaney.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850) was one of the most influential of the Romantic poets. He grew up in the Lake District, and was educated at Cambridge. His friendship with S. T. Coleridge led to their joint project, Lyrical Ballads, which was published in 1798. At the same time, Wordsworth began work on what was to become The Prelude, which was first published three months after his death, in 1850. He became poet laureate in 1843. Seamus Heaney was born in County Derry in Northern Ireland. Death of a Naturalist, his first collection of poems, appeared in 1966, and was followed by poetry, criticism and translations which established him as the leading poet of his generation. In 1995 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, and twice won the Whitbread Book of the Year, for The Spirit Level (1996) and Beowulf (1999). Stepping Stones, a book of interviews conducted by Dennis O'Driscoll, appeared in 2008; Human Chain, his last volume of poems, was awarded the 2010 Forward Prize for Best Collection. He died in 2013. His translation of Virgil's Aeneid Book VI was published posthumously in 2016 to critical acclaim.