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Early morning at Buttermere, The Lake District, Cumbria, England

Foray Fit: Walking with Wordsworth

April is National Poetry Month!

To celebrate we are bringing you weekly highlights from some of our favorite ambling bards and the paths that inspired them.

This week, we feature the 19th century British Romantic, William Wordsworth (1770-1850).

If ever there was a bard who appreciated the power of walking, surely it was Wordsworth. Scholars estimate that he logged more than 180,000 miles during his lifetime as he coursed through the terrain of his beloved Lake District.

The Poem

In an unpublished poem found in his private journals and published in The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth, Volume V (Oxford University Press, 1959), Wordsworth contemplates the value of introspection he experiences while walking:

In many a walk
At evening or by moonlight, or reclined
At midday upon beds of forest moss,
Have we to Nature and her impulses
Of our whole being made free gift, and when
Our trance had left us, oft have we, by aid
Of the impressions which it left behind,
Looked inward on ourselves, and learned, perhaps,
Something of what we are.


The Path: England's Lake District

Like his fellow Romantics, Wordsworth was deeply inspired by the natural world around him. In this wonderful travelogue, Audubon Magazine utilizes the journals of Wordworth's sister, Dorothy, to retrace his steps through the landscapes he held most dear: England's Lake District.

Read Walking with Wordsworth

Image above: Early Morning at Buttermere, The Lake District, Cumbria, England

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