Dorothy's Grasmere Journal
Dorothy's Grasmere Journal begins on 14 May 1800:
I resolved to write a journal of the time till W & J return, & I set about keeping my resolve because I will not quarrel with myself, & because I shall give Wm Pleasure by it when he comes home again.
Dorothy too must have gained pleasure from her journal as she continues it long beyond her brothers' return - until January 1803. The journal was never intended as a private record but as a means of recording people, places, events and impressions which could be shared with those she was close to.
Journals by women from the period are quite common: educated, middle-class women often had time on their hands and relatively few ways to spend it. Dorothy never refers to some of the common accomplishments of 'ladies' of her generation: there is no painting, drawing or playing the piano and her sewing is all practical. For Dorothy these appear to be replaced by walking, gardening, reading and transcribing her brother's poetry.
The journal is full of fresh and evocative descriptions of Grasmere and the surrounding landscape. Dorothy records the landscape at all times of day and in all seasons. She experienced the landscape by walking through it - the changing weather, the sounds, the people she met. Her reasons were often practical - the post was delivered to Ambleside, there were plants to be found for the garden and neighbours to visit. Although she always found pleasure in her walks, pleasure was often not the prime motivation in setting out. Here is a fairly typical example from 18 May 1800:
Went to church, slight showers, a cold air. The mountains from this window look much greener & I think the valley is more green than ever. The corn begins to shew itself. The ashes are still bare. Went part of the way home with Miss Simpson ... A little girl from Coniston came to beg. She had lain out all night - her step mother had turn'd her out of doors. Her father could not stay at home 'She flights so'. Walked to Ambleside in the evening round the lake. The prospect exceeding beautiful from loughrigg fell. It was so green that no eye could be weary of reposing upon it. The most beautiful situation for a house in the field next to Mr. Benson's. It threatened rain all the evening but was mild and pleasant. I was overtaken by 2 Cumberland people on the other side of Rydale who complimented me upon my walking. They were going to sell cloth, & odd things which they make themselves in Hawkshead & the neighbourhood. The post was not arrived so I walked thro the town past Mrs Taylors, & met him. Letters from Coleridge & Cottle - John Fisher overtook me on the other side of Rydale - he talked much about the alteration in the times, & observed that in a short time there would be only two ranks of people, the very rich & the very poor, for those who have small estates says he are forced to sell, & all the land goes into one hand. Did not reach home till 10 o clock.
This entry has a bit of everything: landscape, people, politics, poetry - and all because she was going to fetch the post.
Several descriptions are bits of prose poetry. This is just one of many examples, from 12 December 1801:
Helm Crag rose very bold & craggy, a being by itself, & behind it was the large Ridge of mountain smooth as marble & snow white - all the mountains looked like solid stone on our left going from Grasmere i.e. White Moss & Nab Scar. The snow hid all the grass & all signs of vegetation & the Rocks shewed themselves boldly everywhere & seemed more stony than Rock or stone. The Birches on the Crags beautiful, Red brown & glittering - the ashes glittering spears with their upright stems - the hips very beautiful, & so good!! ... The moon shone upon the water below Silver-how, & above it hung, combining with Silver how on one side, a Bowl-shaped moon the curve downwards - the white fields, glittering Roof of Thomas Ashburner's house, the dark yew tree, the white fields - gay & beautiful. Wm lay with his curtains open that he might see it.
This has: personification, simile, metaphor and the informal style of journal writing also means that image follows image in a concentrated way.
The relationship between Dorothy's journal and Wordsworth's poetry is an interesting and fruitful one. The most famous example of the journal influencing the poetry is the daffodils:
The wind was furious... the Lake was rough... When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seeds ashore & that the little colony had so sprung up -- But as we went along there were more & yet more & at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road. 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. This wind blew directly over the lake to them. There was here & there a little knot & a few stragglers a few yards higher up but they were so few as not to disturb the simplicity & unity & life of that one busy highway... -- Rain came on, we were wet.
(15 April, 1802)
The poem was not written until two years later and the similarities are clear. The most striking difference, perhaps, is that Wordsworth turns a shared experience into a personal one.
The daffodils poem is the most famous of several direct uses Wordsworth makes of the journal, but there are other, more subtle examples too:
He [William], with his Basin of Broth before him untouched & a little plate of Bread & butter he wrote the Poem to a Butterfly! - He ate not a morsel, nor put on his stockings but sate with his shirt neck unbuttoned, & his waistcoat open while he did it. The thought first came upon him as we were talking about the pleasure we both always feel at the sight of a Butterfly. I told him that I used to chase them a little but that I was afraid of brushing the dust off their wings & did not catch them - He told me how they used to kill all the white ones when he went to school because they were frenchmen. Mr Simpson came in just as he was finishing the Poem. After he was gone I wrote it down & the other poems & I read them all over to him.
(DW Journal, 14th March, 1802)
Oh! pleasant, pleasant were the days,
The time, when in our childish plays
My sister Emmeline and I
Together chaced the Butterfly!
A very hunter did I rush
Upon the prey: - with leaps and springs
I followed on from brake to bush;
But She, God love her! feared to brush
The dust from off its wings.
The journal entry here hints too at Dorothy's other involvement: as transcriber of poems and recorder of a poet at work.
Read an extract from Dorothy's journal for:
Read the extract from Dorothy's journal about her walk by Ullswater on a stormy day with William that inspired his famous poem, I wandered lonely as a Cloud.
Read about the change in Dorothy's life when William gets married.
格拉斯米爾日記 廣州:花城 2011無一字母的翻譯/ 翻譯很死板
Dorothy's Grasmere Journal begins on 14 May 1800:
I resolved to write a journal of the time till W & J return, & I set about keeping my resolve because I will not quarrel with myself, & because I shall give Wm Pleasure by it when he comes home again. 我決心寫這段時間的日記直到威與約歸來 我著手實踐我的決心 因為我不願跟自己爭執
Grasmere shown within Cumbria
|OS grid reference|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
|List of places: UK • England • Cumbria|
Before 1974, Grasmere lay within the former county of Westmorland, but today it is part of the county of Cumbria.
GeographyThe village is on the river Rothay which flows into Grasmere lake which lies about 0.5 km to the south. The village is overlooked from the NW by the rocky hill of Helm Crag, popularly known as The Lion and the Lamb or the Old Lady at the Piano. These names are derived from the shape of rock formations on its summit, depending on which side you view it from.
A number of popular walks begin near the centre of the village, including the ascent of Helm Crag and a longer route up to Fairfield. The village is also on the route of Alfred Wainwright's Coast to Coast Walk.
A591 connects Grasmere to the Vale of Keswick over Dunmail Raise to the north, and Ambleside to the south. In other directions, Grasmere is surrounded by high ground. To the west, a long ridge comes down from High Raise and contains the lesser heights of Blea Rigg and Silver How. To the east, Grasmere is bordered by the western ridge of the Fairfield horseshoe.