The Talented William Cowper

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The Life of William Cowper paperback is now in stock once more in the Shop.

Something once written tends to fade in the memory. It mattered to us enormously at the time and while affection for the subject remains, the details often disappear.

But Cowper’s poems do not. He was adept at looking at the details of life and drawing a beautiful observation from the every day, so when we see the every day we find ourselves reflecting as he did.

I have done so myself of late, recalling his lovely pathetic poem about the felling of trees. At the start of next week - at the request of the Council - the lovely hedge beside my house is to be felled. We grew together and its replacement will not lend shade for many, many years.

I told the life of William Cowper from the perspective of Mrs. Mary Unwin because she seemed to be the one sympathetic friend who could tell most of his tale. (Mrs. Unwin died first and so Sam finishes.) Cowper himself wanted no other biographer:

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William Cowper’s pleasure in the realm of animals, birds, flowers and trees was not soppy. He was not a Romantic because he did not find spiritual truth in material things - he imposed Christian truth on the natural world. Nor was he akin to the modern hippy. It was never less than masculine - always equally close to a smile and a tear. Ever endearing. I leave you with this, his favourite poem.