Wordsworth and the Frozen River


We hissed along the polished ice in games
Confederate, imitative of the chase
And woodland pleasures – the resounding horn,
The pack loud chiming, and the hunted hare.
So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
And not a voice was idle; with the din
Smitten, the precipices rang aloud.

This magical sculpture is from the Wordsworth museum at Dove Cottage, Grasmere. You can gaze into it and let frost patterns unfurl in your mind: the apple seller frozen in the Thames from Orlando, or the cutting out of little lines in the ice from The Ninth Wave

There’s also a great example of an interactive display at the museum which uses spots of light to animate the spots of time. Few things beat the magic of hearing and anticipating every word of a poem you learnt at school, thought forgotten, taking you back, back, further into time – then, now and in the present…

The description from the sculpture is below. As ever, click the images to get a better view.


3 thoughts on “Wordsworth and the Frozen River

  1. It’s wonderful,
    Everywhere, so white.
    The river has frozen over
    Not a soul on the ice,
    Only me, skating fast.
    I’m speeding past trees leaving
    Little lines in the ice,
    Cutting out little lines,
    in the ice, splitting, splitting sound,
    Silver heels spitting, spitting snow

  2. What a fantastic sculpture! That sweeping, fluid essence of The Prelude captured in gleaming, icy folds of light… Beautiful! I love your description of gazing into it and letting ‘frost patterns unfurl’ in the mind… And I was so interested to learn about the interactive display which visually highlights the concept of ‘spots of time.’

    Sounds like you had your own magical ‘spots of time’ moment when listening to the poem…

    Thanks so much for sharing this…

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