Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Scorn Not the Sonnet
In addition to his personal note to his friend, inside the back cover Wordsworth has written out two sonnets from his Memorials of a Tour in Italy 1837: "Under the Shadow of a Stately Pile" and "I Saw Afar Off the Dark Top of a Pine." After the first one, he has written "October 14, 1839" (presumably the date of the inscription). After the second sonnet, he includes the clarification that the pine in question stands upon Mount Mario, the highest hill in Rome. This is exciting stuff, but the little book has yet more secrets to reveal. On pages 34, 301, and 405, Wordsworth has made corrections by hand to three of his printed sonnets. One can almost imagine the revered poet turning slowly through the pages as he deliberately and carefully annotated this volume for a close friend.
To see this exciting book for yourself, which was a gift of John W. Little, class of 1940, come to Rauner and ask to hold Rare PR5866 .A1 1838.