The Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals Quotes


“I never saw daffodils so beautiful they grew among the mossy stones about & about them, some rested their heads upon these stones as on a pillow for weariness & the rest tossed & reeled & danced & seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind that blew upon them over the Lake, they looked so gay ever glancing ever changing...”

Dorothy Wordsworth

Dorothy, though not the poet like her brother, possesses a skill for animating her descriptions. She describes how the flowers move, never allowing her writing to grow stagnant. To her the natural environment of Somerset, especially the lakes in the area, is a veritable wonderland. She fills her journal with thorough, original descriptions of her natural surroundings.

"It is a pleasure to a real lover of Nature to give winter all the glory he can, for summer will make its own way, and speak its own praises."

Dorothy Wordsworth

Dorothy describes each season -- its arrival and departure -- in great detail, never showing favoritism to any one in particular. This excerpt perfectly captures her relationship to change. She views the experience of one as the fulfillment of the beauty of the next. Each season is necessary to compliment the fullness of the others.

"I found a strawberry blossom in a rock. The little slender flower had more courage than the green leaves, for they were but half expanded and half grown, but the blossom was spread full out. I uprooted it rashly, and I felt as if I had been committing an outrage, so I planted it again. It will have but a stormy life of it, but let it live if it can."

Dorothy Wordsworth

This quotation characterizes Dorothy's philosophy about nature. She believes in the preservation of the smallest of plants, but she is unafraid to interact with nature directly. Her regret over plucking the delicate strawberry blossom is only matched by her enthusiasm for ensuring its survival. She treats her interactions with nature with a sort of reverence.

"Every question was like the snapping of a little thread about my heart."

Dorothy Wordsworth

Dorothy spends much of her time talking to the people she meets in Grasmere. Most are travelers or folks who have fallen out of luck and in need of help. Although she cannot give them much, she devotes her attention to their emotional health. Dorothy listens to each one for as long as they need, pouring her intention into their well-being. This empathy is also reflected in her devotion to William, her brother.

Update this section!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

Update this section

After you claim a section you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.