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"Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood" (1804) by William Wordsworth

I first tracked down this poem in high school after watching "Splendor in the Grass" (1961) — a movie featuring a doomed love affair between an impossibly young and handsome Warren Beatty and the equally radiant Natalie Wood — on late-night TV. The movie's title comes from a line in Wordsworth's poem. Yet upon rereading it, the poem doesn't leave you in a sour mood at romances that fizzle and die. It is a hopeful poem about the consolations of growing older and wiser, about finding happiness "in the faith that looks through death,/In years that bring the philosophic mind." — J.K.
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