Dorothy and Dictation

One page of MS JJ is copied out in Dorothy's hand. This is the passage which begins: "The soul of man is fashioned & built up" on Rr. It is a revealing example of how William and Dorothy worked together when William dictated the text.

Read the transcription and the page below and consider these questions:

How do we know that the page is dictated? How might it look different if Dorothy were making a fair copy of a previous text?

What mistakes does Dorothy make? Do they indicate dictation? Why?

CLUE: Remember that Wordsworth is writing in Blank Verse (a line which should contain ten syllables and five stresses).

The soul of man is fashioned &

built up

Just like a strain of music

I believe I believe

That there are spirits which when

they would form

A favor'd being open out the clouds

As at the touch of lightning

Seeking him with gentle visitation

and with such

I Though rarely in my wanderings I have


Communion Others too there are who


Yet haply aiming at the self-same end

Severer Interventions ministry

Of grosser kind & of their school

was I

And oft when on the withered mountain


The frost & breath

I have held

Communion with them in my boyish days

Though rarely

(MS JJ, Rr)