The Rainbow

The Rainbow by William Wordsworth

My heart leaps up when I behold

A rainbow in the sky:

So was it when my life began;

So is it now I am a man;

So be it when I shall grow old,

Or let me die!

The child is father of the man;

And I could wish my days to be

Bound each to each by natural piety.


I am artist in residence at Rydal Mount and Gardens in Rydal, near Ambleside, in the Lake District; home of William Wordsworth from 1815 to his death in 1850. This year marks 250 years since his birth and there were many events planned, especially for April, the month of his birth. Due to Coronavirus these events have been postponed, cancelled or reworked online and digitally.

There have been recitals by famous people, local people and members of Wordsworth’s family throughout April. These can be found on www.Wordsworth250.org and are well worth a look.


In walking through Alston where I live, as part of my daily exercise, the Rainbow is becoming ever increasingly present as part of our daily lives, popping up in shop windows, people’s homes and even behind the counter in the ‘self-service’ section of the local Co – op.

Children and adults alike have come together in this celebration of life and colour, and the symbol of the Rainbow echoes Wordsworth’s words from almost 2 centuries ago. It is a symbol of hope and of life, and like much of Wordsworth’s poetry, appeals to a wide audience of young and old.

I particularly like the rainbow because of its visual impact, and the way that science, nature, art and poetry are all combined in one simple image, an image that is currently being used to connect the whole world in the fight against Coronavirus. As an artist, you couldn’t wish for anymore from a piece of artwork, so to all those rainbow makers out there – keep up the good work, and don’t stop at one!

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