I’m calling it: William Wordsworth might well be the founding father of the Lost Boys' Book Club.
Think about it, the guy was well travelled, was inspired by nature, and wasn’t afraid to stick it to the man (he was the only Poet Laureate to take a healthy income from the Crown without ever writing a single poem for them). Hell, he may have even qualified cos Wordsworth is just such an appropriate name! The ultimate example of normative determinism, a la Fire Lieutenant Les McBurney. I’ll start at the beginning...
As you drive into the Lake District in the north of England, the only fitting response is ‘How could this not lead you to write poetry?’ The lakes themselves would not look out of place at the foot of Canadian peaks, and the mountains lurch up with such intent that they more closely resemble Norwegian fjords. And the flowers… You might well think to yourself “This old sea hound is never going to get excited about a flower!” Well hold up, Judge Reinhold, cos I thought the same thing! But there I was, amped among the bluebells and daffodils. They litter the green meadows with specks of blue, yellow and red, and were the inspiration for one of Wordsworth’s more well known poems;
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;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Before you go judging him on how much he froths on flowers, remember that some people might find our love for waves equally dumb. And one man’s meat is another man’s poison. Wordsworth might be considered the first Lost Boy because he believed all necessary life lessons could be taught by nature. He loved it. In his mind, the woods were a better teacher than Mr Jefferson, your Year 9 English teacher who spent his time trying to rip you in front of the class... The natural world was such an inspiration to him that most of his poems were written while walking the peaks of Cumbria, and he would try and write them down when he got home. He also thought that poetry should be written for the common man, not just for people with monocles. It makes his poetry readable. It’s somewhat simple, but still brutally profound. In doing so, he kickstarted English Romanticism, and for that, we salute him.
When you visit the Lake District, get into some Wordsworth. The poetry on the page will perfectly describe the poetry of the hills, lakes and sprawling meadows. Find a quiet peak and get some flower barrels.