ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Wordsworth, Browning & Rao

Updated on September 4, 2012
William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
Robert Browning
Robert Browning

My Poetry Teacher

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Daffodils don’t flash upon my inward eye, when I lie on a couch, as they did for Wordsworth, but the day we had his poem for Poetry Class does. So do the sessions with his Solitary Reaper, or with How They Brought The Good News From Ghent To Aix by Robert Browning.

All due to the passion our Principal had for poetry.

Mr U B Rao, may his tribe prosper, had a booming voice, vast knowledge of the life and times of the poet under study, and the ability to infect us with love for poetry. It was a concert, his class! Still fills my heart with a longing, and a resolve that, when I take a class of any sort, I must match that fervour.

If I remember right, The Solitary Reaper was the first he did for us. After an intro speech on Wordsworth, the Lakeschool Fellows, ballads and the highlands, this purveyor of poetic delights began reading the first stanza.

“Behold her, single in the field,

Yon solitary Highland Lass!

Reaping and singing by herself;

Stop here, or gently pass!

Alone she cuts and binds the grain,

And sings a melancholy strain;

O listen! for the Vale profound

Is overflowing with the sound.”

He asked us to note how the poet had stressed on the reaper’s lack of company with these words: single, solitary, by herself, alone. That was the first time I realized how each word in a poem had a purpose. In prose, too, for that matter.

When we explored a Browning together, How They Brought The Good News From Ghent To Aix, he brought to our kind attention the rhythm of the rhymes. The protagonists are on horseback most of the time, and the words were designed to mimic that pace and rhythm. Read the following aloud please, and see for yourself:

I sprang to the stirrup, and Joris, and he:

I galloped, Dirck galloped, we galloped all three;

“Good speed!” cried the watch as the gate-bolts undrew;

“Speed” echoed the wall to us galloping through.

Behind shut the postern, the lights sank to rest,

And into the midnight we galloped abreast.

When I read it aloud, it does not just help me picture the scene; I am there, riding with them! Such is the power of poetry, and such was the great mentor who started me off on the road to its appreciation with a ‘Good Speed!’

God bless him.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Kenny Wordsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      8 years ago from Chennai

      My pleasure, Hello, hello! Thank you for giving me all these great comments. :))

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for bringing these great poets to our attention and giving all these details. This iw a wonderful hub.

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      8 years ago from Chennai

      Ah, a poetic comment! Thank you, Sligobay, I enjoyed this one too! :)

    • sligobay profile image


      8 years ago from east of the equator

      Some recall first physical love

      Due to the rise in blood's pressure,

      You recall mind's etheral trove

      through mentor's valued treasure.

      This is a fine memoir which I quite enjoyed. Thank you.

    • Kenny Wordsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      8 years ago from Chennai

      Thank you, CP, for that blessing. I hadn't thanked Rao then, since he was also the headmaster. We twelve-year-olds were in awe of him and never would have thought to go up to him and express our appreciation.

    • Christopher Price profile image

      Christopher Price 

      8 years ago from Vermont, USA

      The debt we owe to our mentors and teachers, those who opened our eyes to the beauty mankind is capable of creating, is best expressed by sharing this gift with others.

      You are both student and teacher now, and I know Mr. Rao would be very happy.

      Thank you.


    • Kenny Wordsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ashok Rajagopalan 

      8 years ago from Chennai

      Yes, they are! :))

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Nicely done, Kenny Wordsmith. These poets are truly wordsmiths.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)