In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to the most important poets in our literature.
Earth has not anything to show more fair: Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty . . .
-- Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
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, geb. 1939 in Nordirland, publizierte bereits während seines Studiums der Englischen Philologie in Belfast Gedichte. Nach seiner Lehrerausbildung schloss er sich 'The Group' an, einer Gruppe junger Autoren, und veröffentlichte 1966 seinen ersten Gedichtband 'Death of Naturalist'. Von 1966-72 war er Lektor für englische Literatur an der Queen's University in Belfast und 1970-71 Gastdozent an der University of California in Berkeley, USA. Seit 1982 ist Seamus Heaney Gastprofessor in Harvard. Er lebt heute in Dublin und erhielt 1995 den Nobelpreis für Literatur.