Avital Ronell first brought this Wordsworth poem to my attention in a conversation with Anne Dufourmantelle (see Fighting Theory].
[T]his corrosive “thing” that was not legible before and then abruptly emerges or is provoked out of its hiding place. Wordsworth’s texts on idiocy are a perfect example. In his time, these were marginal texts that distressed his friend Coleridge, the eminent drug addict. The later, the great philosophical erectus, tried to convince Wordsworth not to write such indigestible texts; he said that such writing was pure regression, and he was sincerely horrified by poems like “Idiot Boy,” the one of which Wordsworth was fondest and which those around him found altogether disgraceful. […] However, one day, something in them is going to become readable, for all sorts of reasons and historical availabilities. And Wordsworth for his part adored his own poem on idiocy, though we don’t know why. He could never let it go; he never regretted having written it. Worse still, he chose to publish it.
The Idiot Boy ends with in the voice of boy himself relating what he heard and saw after spending the night outdoors amid owls and moonlight. The addressee is the boy’s mother.
(His very words I give to you,)
“The cocks did crow to-whoo, to-whoo,
And the sun did shine so cold!”
— Thus answered Johnny in his glory,
And that was all his travel’s story.
Inversion. At play. Nocturnal transmissions. Daylight images. What’s the potential for corrosion? Finding poetry?
And so for day 1451