Monday, March 13, 2017:
Not typically a very emotional person, I was very surprised that, as I was walking up to the front door of Dove Cottage, I teared up a bit. Dove Cottage is such a special place, a place that William and Dorothy primarily made as a home for themselves and eventually Mary and theoretically John, and they loved the home so much. Being in that home made everything we had learned about come alive. William mentioned his dog in some of his poetry we read, but I wasn’t nearly as interested in Pepper as when we walked into the first room of Dove Cottage and saw Pepper’s portrait hanging from the wall. I had known that Dove Cottage would be pretty small since, as the Wordsworth family grew, they needed to move due to lack of space, but I could actually understand how small it was when I watched Siraj duck through the doors so as not to scrape his head on the ceilings. I could imagine so much better Wordsworth finishing “The Prelude” in the parlor with his children running around by his feet (and scribbling over his manuscripts!!), and I totally understand now how overwhelming three children could be in such tight quarters, and how uncomfortable at times the thin walls could have been for Dorothy, living with a married couple. I have a nuanced understanding of the day-to-day lives of the Wordsworths because I saw the home myself.