Lake District scene

Today, The Prince of Wales recited an excerpt from one of his favourite Wordsworth poems, ‘Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, On Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13, 1798' on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

 

The reading marked the 250th anniversary since the birth of William Wordsworth - 7th April 2020. Wordsworth Grasmere has been renovated to offer visitors a more authentic idea of the home Wordsworth would have known in 1800. The site will open later this year to mark the special occasion and anniversary.

The Prince has been Patron of The Wordsworth Trust since April 1996 and regularly visits the Lake District, the site of Dove Cottage the Poet’s home.

In March 2018, HRH designated the Lake District National Park, the landscape of which Wordsworth’s writing is so intrinsically linked, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Discussing his fondness of Wordsworth, HRH said:

I chose this poem by Wordsworth, because funnily enough, I know that rather wonderful area around Tintern Abbey, up The Wye Valley. I can understand so well the way in which, I suppose for Wordsworth and as for a lot of other people, the power of the landscape to move us, is something rather profound. I found myself struggling, for instance, to paint a watercolour of a landscape.  But, in a strange way, when you sit and observe it, very carefully, and you observe the movement of the clouds, the light and everything else on the landscape, the extraordinary thing is that you almost feel the landscape, you almost feel its heart and soul, as it were.

To me, Wordsworth captures so well the power of the landscape to move us in a profound and extraordinary way. That is why, of course, landscapes - why we need to preserve them and we need to understand that man working in harmony with nature is absolutely crucial.

So, this poem, I found ends in this extraordinarily moving and special way, so, it’s one of my favourites.