Offered a job as book critic for magazine as a young man, Bellow had been interviewed by Chambers and asked to give his opinion about William Wordsworth. Replying perhaps too quickly that Wordsworth had been a Romantic poet, he had been brusquely informed by Chambers that there was no place for him at the magazine. Bellow had often wondered, he told us, what he ought to have said. I suggested that he might have got the job if he'd replied that Wordsworth was a once-revolutionary poet who later became a conservative and was denounced by Browning and others as a turncoat. This seemed to Bellow to be probably right. More interesting was the related question: What if he'd that job?
When sonneteering Wordsworth re-creates the landing of Mary Queen of Scots at the mouth of the Derwent -Dear to the Loves, and to the Graces vowed, The Queen drew back the wimple that she wore- he unveils nothing less than a canvas by Rubens, baroque master of baroque masters; this is the landing of a TRAGIC Marie de Medicis. Yet so receptive was the English ear to sheep-Wordsworth's perverse 'Enough of Art' that it is not any of these works of supreme art, these master-sonnets of English literature, that are sold as picture postcards, with the text in lieu of the view, in the Lake District! It is those eternally, infernally sprightly Daffodils.