Selected Poems: William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth

Illustrated by Peter Reddick

Selected and Introduced by Seamus Heaney

Published to mark the 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth, Selected Poems is a celebration of the poet’s key shorter works selected and introduced by Seamus Heaney, with exquisite wood engravings by Peter Reddick.


The greatest of the Romantic poets and a founder of modern verse, William Wordsworth is also the most accessible major poet of his period. Despite more than two centuries passing since he first penned his poems, they remain fresh, relatable and joyful to read; their enduring popularity borne out by the fact that so many are instantly recognisable. Celebrating the 250th anniversary of Wordsworth’s birth, this new edition is published in series with Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson, and includes 49 of the poet’s major shorter works, curated and thoughtfully introduced by Seamus Heaney.

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils…

  1. From ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’

Production Details

Bound in printed cloth

Set in Bembo Book

176 pages

Frontispiece and 29 integrated black & white wood engravings

Printed endpapers

Printed translucent dust jacket

8¾˝ x 5½˝

A refreshing new poetic language

Wordsworth was a firm believer in poetry for the masses, and he developed a style that conveyed great emotional depth through everyday language. His verse is both immediate and reflective, transporting the reader to the ‘raving stream’, the ‘glassy sea’ or the ‘craggy ridge’. Nature is a prevailing theme in his work and many of his best-loved poems, such as ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ and ‘Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey’, speak tenderly of rural idylls. As the late Nobel Prize-winning poet Seamus Heaney writes in his introduction, “‘Nature’ and ‘imagination’ are not words that belong exclusively to Wordsworth, yet they keep coming up when we consider his achievement.’ But Wordsworth is equally passionate when describing the natural beauty of urban landscapes in poems filled with awe, such as ‘Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802’:

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…

An essential addition to a classic poetry library

Compact and portable, yet inclusive of the majority of Wordsworth’s key verse, this is a must-have volume for every classic poetry library. Those familiar with Wordsworth’s work can revisit favourite poems, while those less acquainted can enjoy an introduction to one of the foremost names in English poetry. Wordsworth’s romantic depictions of the natural world are complemented by 29 exquisite wood engravings which have been selected from our treasured archive of the late Peter Reddick’s work. One of the great engravers of his era, Reddick interpreted Wordsworth’s verse with sensitivity and insight. The edition – a perfect gift – is finished with a translucent dust jacket, in series with Folio’s Selected Poems by Emily Dickinson.


Animal Tranquillity and Decay
Fragment: Yet once again
Fragments from the Alfoxden Notebook (1)
The Ruined Cottage
To My Sister
Goody Blake and Harry Gill
Lines Written in Early Spring
Expostulation and Reply
The Tables Turned
Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey...
There Was a Boy
A slumber did my spirit seal
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Strange fits of passion have I known
Lucy Gray; or, Solitude
Fragment: Redundance
Three years she grew in sun and shower
A narrow girdle of rough stones and crags
The Two-Part Prelude
To the Cuckoo
My heart leaps up when I behold
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
Resolution and Independence
The world is too much with us; late and soon
With Ships the sea was sprinkled far and nigh
Composed Upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802
Composed near Calais, on the Road Leading to Ardres, August 7, 1802
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free
To Toussaint l’Ouverture
London, 1802
Written in London, September, 1802
Yarrow Unvisited
The Small Celandine
I wandered lonely as a cloud
French Revolution As It Appeared to Enthusiasts at Its Commencement
The Simplon Pass
Elegiac Stanzas Suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle in a Storm, Painted by Sir George Beaumont
Stepping Westward
The Solitary Reaper
Thought of a Briton on the Subjugation of Switzerland
Though narrow be that old Man’s cares, and near
Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind
Lines from The River Duddon
XXXIV After-Thought
Extempore Effusion upon the Death of James Hogg


William Wordsworth was born in 1770 in Cockermouth in England’s Lake District and was educated at Hawkshead Grammar School and St John’s College, Cambridge. He lived in France, experiencing the French Revolution first-hand, and London, where he was a familiar figure in the city’s radical social circles, before returning to the Lake District in 1799. The year before, he published the first edition of Lyrical Ballads with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a ground-breaking volume that introduced Romanticism to English poetry and literature. The movement celebrated individualism, nature and the imagination, and many critics consider The Prelude, Wordsworth’s most famous work, to be its crowning achievement. Wordsworth was appointed Britain’s Poet Laureate in 1843, a position he held until his death from pleurisy in 1850.


Seamus Heaney was an Irish poet, playwright and translator. Born in 1939, he studied English Language and Literature at Queen’s University Belfast, graduating in 1961. Considered one of the greatest poets of his generation, Heaney was the recipient of many awards during his lifetime, including the Somerset Maugham Award and the Geoffrey Faber Award for his debut poetry collection, Death of a Naturalist (1966), and the T. S. Eliot Prize for District and Circle (2006). He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1955, the David Cohen Prize for Literature in 2009 and the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2012. Heaney died in 2013.


Peter Reddick was a British wood engraver and illustrator. He was born in 1924 and studied at the Guildford and Cardiff schools of art and the Slade School of Fine Art in London, as well as at the London School of Printing. He taught lettering, typography and lithography at the Regent Polytechnic in London, and was a senior lecturer in illustration at Bristol Polytechnic. Reddick illustrated more than 50 books, including 18 volumes of the novels and stories of Thomas Hardy for The Folio Society. His work, recognised for its sensitive evocation of atmosphere and tone, is centred on an immemorial sense of the land and rural life. Reddick died in 2010. 


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