They wore their shirts, open at the neck
And smoked their pipes, stuffed with poppy seed,
The scarlet colour of those petals bleed
Into the vivid pictures that they made with words
While they drifted through a haze
Of opioids and stunning women on their arms.
They rocked a world that lived without
The Instagrams and Twitter feeds,
Rather wading through the reeds
And finding universes in the droplets
Found on yellow leaves in Windermere.
I’m teaching the Romantics at the moment and the students can sometimes just look at you like you are the most boring person in the world to find the words of some dead white guys anything but dull.
But they really were the rock stars of their day and I sometimes want to grab the students by the collar and shake some sense into them. These were the cool guys of their time. They were artists and eccentrics.
If Instagram existed when they were alive, I am sure that they would rival the numbers of followers that Beyonce and Lady Gaga have. I just wish that I could convince them. If only Wordsworth had left behind some selfies with some filters on. Then maybe I could have argued my case.