John Blumenthal is a former editor at Playboy and he also worked as a fact-checker at Esquire. He has authored 8 books, the last 2 novels What's Wrong With Dorfman and Millard Fillmore, Mon Amour were both published by St. Martin's Press. John is also a screenwriter and he has written 2 movies: Short Time (Fox) and Blue Streak. (Columbia). He currently blogs for Opensalon
The literary community is abuzz over the discovery of a heretofore unknown collection of poems by the English poet William Wordsworth. The cache includes early verses, giving scholars new insight into the poet’s youth. As early as his fourth year, Wordsworth penned these immortal lines, “Lo, on my birthday/My father gave me a small wooden horse/ Which he had made out of clay/I was hoping for socks.”
Soon thereafter, he wrote the Romantic poem “My Spectre Around Me Night and Day.” This achievement, though remarkable, has puzzled scholars since the identical poem had been written some years before by Robert Burns.
In 1791, Wordsworth met the woman who was to become his wife, and later, the inspiration for his poem “Eyesore.” Historians know that they courted for two years and that Wordsworth arrived at the wedding with a pair of tap shoes and a sack of Belgian waffles. Afterwards, he penned this poem: “Thy eyes are as the blackness of pitch/Thy hair glows like the exotic silks of Asia/Thy frame often blocks out the light.”
Another fascinating poem contained in the cache includes “Reflections on a Painting by Someone Named Dwight,” which begins with the lines: “There was a roaring in the wind/The rain came heavily/But now the sun is rising bright/Two dogs through the garden, no mayo.”
Self-doubt plagued him during his entire life. Not only did he consider himself a dismal failure as a poet, he was incapable of appreciating upholstery. This flaw, along with Wordsworth’s habit of offering advice to sofas, inspired his colleague Percy Byshhe Shelley to call him “a man who cannot cook soup.” In response to this heinous insult, Wordsworth likens his friend to “that substance so dear which oftimes resides in compost.”
But in all of Wordsworth’s random musings, we find one that truly reveals the poet’s genius: “The earth moves when I touch thee/The mountains rise up volcanic when you sing/Together we walk along the meadow fence/Come, let us delight in the taste of mittens.”
Most exciting of all, we now know conclusively that Wordsworth stopped creating poetry after his death in 1850. His last poem, “On the Importance of Drapes,” contains these immortal stanzas, “Woe is me for I shall succumb/To the earth beneath which I shall be silent for eternity or longer/ Perhaps I should bring a sandwich.”