WORDSWORTHS PREFACE TO THE LYRICAL BALLADS ESSAY

Wordsworth believed that the city life made the masses dull and stagnant — it had reduced them to overworked machines who failed to appreciate the simple beauty of life. Oxford University Press, The subject is indeed important! This new trend of poetry, created by both Wordsworth and Coleridge in Lyrical Ballads , led to many criticisms. If an Author by any single composition has impressed us with respect for his talents, it is useful to consider this as affording a presumption, that, on other occasions where we have been displeased, he nevertheless may not have written ill or absurdly; and, further, to give him so much credit for this one composition as may induce us to review what has displeased us with more care than we should otherwise have bestowed upon it. This is not only an act of justice, but in our decisions upon poetry especially, may conduce in a high degree to the improvement of our own taste: I have one request to make of my Reader, which is, that in judging these Poems he would decide by his own feelings genuinely, and not by reflection upon what will probably be the judgment of others.

It is the life of our ordinary conversation; and upon the accuracy with which similitude in dissimilitude, and dissimilitude in similitude are perceived, depend our taste and our moral feelings. By the foregoing quotation I have shewn that the language of Prose may yet be well adapted to Poetry; and I have previously asserted that a large portion of the language of every good poem can in no respect differ from that of good Prose. From what has been said, and from a perusal of the Poems, the Reader will be able clearly to perceive the object which I have proposed to myself: Response to Public Taste. Simply speaking, the highly sensitive poet is able to experience the beauty of ordinary life, capture his own emotions as they arise and is finally able to sit in a calm, peaceful space to use his imagination to recollect these emotions and finally write about them. If I had undertaken a systematic defence of the theory upon which these poems are written, it would have been my duty to develope the various causes upon which the pleasure received from metrical language depends. Both Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge were inspired to produce this book of poetry through many intellectual conversations.

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By the foregoing quotation I have shewn that the language of Prose may yet be well adapted to Poetry; and I have previously asserted that a large portion of the language of every good poem can in no respect differ from that of good Prose. London and New York: I might perhaps include all which it is necessary to say upon this subject by affirming, what few persons will deny, that, of two descriptions, either of passions, manners, or characters, each of them equally well executed, the one in prose and the other in verse, the verse will be read a hundred times where the prose is read once.

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Where they differ, though, is under the topic of meter and personification. Simply speaking, the highly sensitive poet is able to experience the beauty of ordinary life, capture his own emotions as they arise and is finally able to sit in a calm, peaceful space to use his imagination to recollect these emotions and finally write about them.

As to Wordsworth, it will be salutary to pay attention to what J.

wordsworths preface to the lyrical ballads essay

Wordsworth, however, acquired first-hand acquaintance with the Poetics when he wrote Prelude as evidenced in But the sound of the church-going bell These valleys and rocks never heard Ne’er sigh’d at the sound of a knell, Or smil’d when a sabbath appear’d. The poems they produce are filled with their own imagination and perspective on how they perceive things around them. Hi there, would you like to get such a paper?

I have therefore altogether declined to enter regularly upon this defence; yet I am sensible, that there would be some impropriety in abruptly obtruding upon the Public, without a few words of introduction, Poems so materially different from those, upon which general approbation is at present bestowed.

Preface to the Lyrical Ballads Analysis by Wordsworth

Back to William Wordsworth. Oxford University Press, first published And reddening Phoebus lifts his golden fire: Yet a few words are necessary to underline the validity of the point. He claims this was stated to Wordsworth, but believes it was not accurately represented in the Preface Shulz.

Wordsworth found inspiration from everyday figures of everyday life. On the other hand what it must be allowed will much more frequently happen if the Poet’s words should be incommensurate with the passion, and inadequate to raise the Reader to a height of desirable excitement, then, unless the Poet’s choice of his metre has been grossly injudicious in the feelings of pleasure which the Reader bas been accustomed to connect with metre in general, and in the feeling, whether chearful or melancholy, which he has been accustomed to connect with that particular movement of metre, there will be found something which will greatly contribute to impart passion to the words, and to effect the complex end which the Poet proposes to himself.

More often than not nature is the backdrop of some poems, against which the human drama is enacted. Why take pains to prove that an Ape is not a Newton when it is self-evident that he is not a man?

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Preface to Lyrical Ballads

But I might point out various causes why, when the style is manly, and the subject of some importance, words metrically arranged will long continue to impart such a pleasure to mankind as ro who is sensible of the extent of that pleasure will be desirous to impart.

It has been pointed out that Aristotle did not say what is attributed to him by Wordsworth, who must have heard it from Coleridge.

wordsworths preface to the lyrical ballads essay

Robert Burnsof which you have had specimens in the Review…. This is mentioned, not with so ridiculous a purpose as to prevent the most inexperienced Reader from judging for himself, I have already said that I wish him to judge dssay himself; but merely to temper the rashness of decision, and to suggest, that, if Poetry be a subject on which much time has not been bestowed, the judgment may be erroneous; and that in many cases it necessarily will be so.

Romantic Poetry and Prose, New York: This quotation illustrates how important this benevolent effect is for the reader. It is evident that Coleridge and Wordsworth differ in writing style: This opinion may be further illustrated by appealing to the Reader’s own experience of the reluctance with which he comes to the re-perusal of the distressful parts of Clarissa Harlowe, or the Gamester. In process of time metre became a symbol or promise of this unusual language, and whoever took upon him to write in metre, according as be possessed more or less of true poetic genius, introduced less or more of this adulterated phraseology into his compositions, and the true and the false lyfical so inseparably interwoven that the taste of men was gradually perverted; and this language was received as a natural language; and, at length, by the influence of books upon men, did to a certain degree really become so.

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Romantics, Rebels and Reactionaries: The Backdrop of the Neoclassicals — Neoclassical works were known for their adherence to rules and regulations of wodsworths and their strict definitions of what is poetry. He is a man speaking to men: Eliot and Ezra Pound in our own day advocate spoken language in poetry This is similar to what Coleridge claims about the artificiality of aristocratic taste.

The Poet thinks and feels in the spirit of the passions of men.