In the spring of 1798 William Wordsworth was going through a reckoning. His work on his elusive life project, The Recluse, was draining him. He had set out to study ALL knowledge up to that point in human history, and use it in an epic poem greater than The Iliad, Aeneid, Paradise Lost and all epics before it.
But Wordsworth began to question the relevance of his project and his ability to accomplish it.
In this poem, he challenges the idea of learning from books alone and advocates for putting down your books and leaving the joyless world of the mundane and entering an awe-filled, joyful world of nature and love.
Special thanks to Don Watkins for his article "The Reckoning: Why 'Serving a cause greater than yourself' cannot give life meaning." https://medium.com/@dwatkins3/the-reckoning-why-serving-a-cause-greater-than-yourself-cannot-give-life-meaning-d886bc56e116