Wordsworth's childhood was a sad one, with the death of his mother when he was only eight, and his father dying soon after, leaving him orphaned with four siblings. It may be the indelible sorrow of this experience that gave inspired one of his more famous short poems "We are Seven" which tells a story via a conversation the narrator has with a young girl about her absent siblings. It is said the poem was also inspired by an actual encounter Wordsworth had in a churchyard in the Wye valley (his well-known poem "Tintern Abbey," fully titled "Lines Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. July 13, 1798” was also written about this location, and is considered one of his most appealing nature poems). This poem is sometimes dismissed by critics as doggerel for its rhyming stanzas (not a form Wordsworth was noted for) but its natural imagery and appreciation of the country rustic life echoes themes found throughout his work.
Wordsworth embarked upon a walking tour of England just after finishing college and this no doubt influenced his writing about the rural landscape for most of his career. Meeting the nature poet and Romanticist Samuel Taylor Coleridge also deeply influenced Wordsworth's work and life as a poet. Their "Lyrical Ballads" (1798) are considered a seminal work, both hearkening back to the pastoral tradition and forging a wholly new approach to poems about nature, love and a slightly more secular approach to spirituality than had been seen previously.