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'In Wordsworth's Footsteps'

'In Wordsworth's Footsteps'

"Sometimes you hear radio so good that you wonder how on Earth anyone was allowed to make it.

Thoughtful conversation, beautiful original music, critical insight and an atmosphere that transports you somewhere else?  Surely some mistake.  Your regular programming of painful sitcoms will resume shortly.

But in the meantime, as if drinking from a clear spring stream, I've been rejuvenated by In Wordsworth's Footsteps (Radio 4, Wednesday) in which Professor Sir Jonathan Bate...explores the context for William Wordsworth's poetry...  The rushing sounds of the river Derwent linked stories from Wordsworth's childhood with his reflections on his life in old age. There were observations on craft from Alice Oswald, the most deft of contermporary nature poets; Melvyn Bragg, who loves Wordsworth and has his own deep links to Cumbria; and James Rebanks, the writer and Lake District sheep farmer who gave a wonderfully affectionate take on Wordsworth's not-quite-realistic idea of the pastoral;... Simon Russell Beale read the poems aloud with nuance and care, and specially composed lilting music by Emily Levy linked it all together."