the rock stars of their day

black and white festival music musician
Photo by Markus Spiske on

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.

Much Love

Rachel xx

5 thoughts on “the rock stars of their day

  1. Margot Kinberg

    It is hard to believe that Wordsworth and other writers and poets were the rock stars of their generations. Before there were modern media like television or the radio or the cinema, there were these people, and they really did have devoted followings. Once kids can tap into their own feelings about their pop culture idols, they can maybe understand what it might have been like to queue up for a Wordsworth reading…

    1. patientandkindlove

      Oh, I hope so. Their lives were so colourful that it seems a shame when kids aren’t interested. If Justin Beiber got addicted to opium and drowned they would be all over that news!

  2. crispina kemp

    I fell in love with the Romantics and declared my ambition to be a Bohemian. Without any effort I did achieve that ambition: perpetually skint, in debt, living one day to next, earning money where I could, too often stoned, occasionally drunk, but always happy with the company. I sold my art. Now I sell my writing. I am that Romantic. We do still exist

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