“Lines addressed to my Kind Friend and Medical Attendant Thomas Carr,” 1839

Dorothy copied this poem addressed to Thomas Carr for the Wordsworths’ family friend Isabella Fenwick on August 19, 1839, but she cited its composition date as 1836. The manuscript includes fragments of her earlier poems such as “Floating Island at Hawkshead.” Carr was the Ambleside surgeon that took care of Dorothy during her serious physical illness in the winter of 1832-33, from which she never fully recovered. This poem begins reflecting on “Five years of sickness and of pain,” but she realizes that her “lost fragments” will remain to touch future generations.

Images courtesy the Wordsworth Trust.