According to Wordsworth, poetry that uses this more direct and less contrived language results in the 'spontaneous overflow of powerful emotions. Wordsworth had been looking for a satisfactory psychology, and this was it. To the mode in which Fancy has already been characterized as the power of evoking and combining, or, as my friend Mr. To this language it is probable that metre of some sort or other was early superadded. Besides, as I have said, the Reader is himself conscious of the pleasure which he has received from such composition, composition to which he has peculiarly attached the endearing name of Poetry; and all men feel an habitual gratitude, and something of an honourable bigotry, for the objects which have long continued to please them: we not only wish to be pleased, but to be pleased in that particular way in which we have been accustomed to be pleased. Referring the Reader to those inestimable volumes, I will content myself with placing a conceit ascribed to Lord Chesterfield in contrast with a passage from the Paradise Lost: The dews of the evening most carefully shun, They are the tears of the sky for the loss of the sun.
This bleak narrative records the slow, pitiful decline of a woman whose husband had gone off to the army and never returned. The poet is no different from you and I. When you read Romantic poetry, pay close attention to the common themes of nature and imagination and the undecorated, simplistic language, qualities that are central to Lyrical Ballads and demonstrate its lasting influence. But finally, with the publication of The River Duddon in 1820, the tide began to turn, and by the mid-1830s his reputation had been established with both critics and the reading public. This mode of criticism, so destructive of all sound unadulterated judgement, is almost universal: let the Reader then abide, independently, by his own feelings, and, if he finds himself affected, let him not suffer such conjectures to interfere with his pleasure. For later versions of this poem Wordsworth added a conclusion, but the earliest and most powerful version was starkly tragic.
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. Stimulated by Coleridge and under the healing influences of nature and his sister, Wordsworth began in 1797—98 to compose the short lyrical and dramatic poems for which he is best remembered by many readers. For the human mind is capable of being excited without the application of gross and violent stimulants; and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this, and who does not further know, that one being is elevated above another, in proportion as he possesses this capability. They who have been accustomed to the gaudiness and inane phraseology of many modern writers, if they persist in reading this book to its conclusion, will, no doubt, frequently have to struggle with feelings of strangeness and aukwardness: they will look round for poetry, and will be induced to inquire by what species of courtesy these attempts can be permitted to assume that title. Besides, the Poet spoke to him in the character of a man to be looked up to, a man of genius and authority.
Further, it is the language of men who speak of what they do not understand; who talk of Poetry as of a matter of amusement and idle pleasure; who will converse with us as gravely about a taste for Poetry, as they express it, as if it were a thing as indifferent as a taste for rope-dancing, or Frontiniac or Sherry. Others who pursue a different track will interest him likewise; I do not interfere with their claim, but wish to prefer a claim of my own. Although Coleridge contributed fewer poems to Lyrical Ballads than Wordsworth, many of his poems were particularly influential, such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I have not space for much quotation; but, to illustrate the subject in a general manner, I will here adduce a short composition of Gray, who was at the head of those who by their reasonings have attempted to widen the space of separation betwixt Prose and Metrical composition, and was more than any other man curiously elaborate in the structure of his own poetic diction. Fancy is given to quicken and to beguile the temporal part of our nature, Imagination to incite and to support the eternal. The sonnet which I have quoted from Gray, in the Preface, except the lines printed in Italics, consists of little else but this diction, though not of the worst kind; and indeed, if I may be permitted to say so, it is far too common in the best writers, both antient and modern. In vain to me the smiling mornings shine, And reddening Phoebus lifts his golden fire: The birds in vain their amorous descant join, These ears alas! Romantic Literature Lyrical Ballads is a collection of poems written by Samuel Coleridge and William Wordsworth, although you may hear some people refer to Lyrical Ballads simply as Wordsworth's because he contributed the majority of the poems.
She leaves these objects to a slow decay, That what we are, and have been, may be known; But at the coming of the milder day, These monuments shall all be overgrown. Johnson's Stanza is a fair specimen. Wordsworth early had misgivings and withdrew from authorship because he feared that he would botch the poem. From each of these considerations, the following Poems have been divided into classes; which, that the work may more obviously correspond with the course of human life, and for the sake of exhibiting in it the three requisites of a legitimate whole, a beginning, a middle, and an end, have been also arranged, as far as it was possible, according to an order of time, commencing with Childhood, and terminating with Old Age, Death, and Immortality. Branson's comments: This essay was written in response to an explication exercise in a course designed to introduce students to the fundamentals of the English major. To these qualities he has added a disposition to be affected more than other men by absent things as if they were present; an ability of conjuring up in himself passions, which are indeed far from being those produced by real events yet especially in those parts of the general sympathy which are pleasing and delightful do more nearly remember the passions produced by real events, than anything which, from the motions of their own minds merely, other men are accustomed to feel in themselves:- whence, and from practice, he has acquired a greater readiness and power in expressing what he thinks and feels, and especially those thoughts and feelings which, by his own choice, or from the structure of his own mind, arise in him without immediate external excitement.
It might be proved that it is impossible. The Neoclassical era was tremendously influenced by what is called the Enlightenment, the period lasting from the late 17th into the late 18th century that witnessed the birth of modern science and philosophy as a result of thinkers emphasizing reason over tradition. I am sensible that my associations must have sometimes been particular instead of general, and that, consequently, giving to things a false importance, I may have sometimes written upon unworthy subjects; but I am less apprehensive on this account, than that my language may frequently have suffered from those arbitrary connexions of feelings and ideas with particular words and phrases, from which no man can altogether protect himself. If she can win you over to her purpose, and impart to you her feelings, she cares not how unstable or transitory may be her influence, knowing that it will not be out of her power to resume it upon an apt occasion. Aristotle, I have been told, hath said, that Poetry is the most philosophic of all writing: it is so: its object is truth, not individual and local, but general, and operative; not standing upon external testimony, but carried alive into the heart by passion; truth which is its own testimony, which gives strength and divinity to the tribunal to which it appeals, and receives them from the same tribunal.
It has been remarked that he was one of the giants; almost single-handedly he revivified English poetry from its threatened death from emotional starvation. I have therefore altogether declined to enter regularly upon this defence; yet I am sensible, that there would be something like 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. It is from Cowper's verses supposed to be written by Alexander Selkirk. What other distinction would we have? They wrote and criticized according to what they considered the proper and acceptable rules of taste. Coleridge has styled it, the aggregative and associative power, my objection is only that the definition is too general. It is not, then, to be supposed that any one, who holds that sublime notion of Poetry which I have attempted to convey, will break in upon the sanctity and truth of his pictures by transitory and accidental ornaments, and endeavour to excite admiration of himself by arts, the necessity of which must manifestly depend upon the assumed meanness of his subject.
He will depend upon this for removing what would otherwise be painful or disgusting in the passion; he will feel that there is no necessity to trick out or to elevate nature: and, the more industriously he applies this principle, the deeper will be his faith that no words, which his fancy or imagination can suggest, will be to be compared with those which are the emanations of reality and truth. The critics immediately pounced upon him, saying, in effect, he did not know poetry from agronomy, whereupon he reissued the poems and added his notorious Preface, which informed the critics though not in certain terms that it was they who were absolutely ignorant of the real nature of poetry. And if, bearing in mind the many Poets distinguished by this prime quality, whose names I omit to mention; yet justified by recollection of the insults which the ignorant, the incapable, and the presumptuous, have heaped upon these and my other writings, I may be permitted to anticipate the judgment of posterity upon myself, I shall declare censurable, I grant, if the notoriety of the fact above stated does not justify me that I have given in these unfavourable times evidence of exertions of this faculty upon its worthiest objects, the external universe, the moral and religious sentiments of Man, his natural affections, and his acquired passions; which have the same ennobling tendency as the productions of men, in this kind, worthy to be holden in undying remembrance. At Hawkshead Wordsworth received an excellent education in classics, , and mathematics, but the chief advantage to him there was the chance to indulge in the boyhood pleasures of living and playing in the. He felt that Wordsworth's conception of poetry relied too much on Hartley's theories and did not adequately explain Wordsworth's poems.
The invaluable works of our elder writers, I had almost said the works of Shakespeare and Milton, are driven into neglect by frantic novels, sickly and stupid German Tragedies, and deluges of idle and extravagant stories in verse. But where Friends fail us, well supply Our friendships with our charity; Men that remote in sorrows live, Shall by our lusty brimmers thrive. A turn to the elegiac In the company of Dorothy, Wordsworth spent the winter of 1798—99 in Germany, where, in the remote town of , in Saxony, he experienced the most intense isolation he had ever known. By the age of thirteen he was orphaned, so he understood the hardships that afflicted the lower classes. A flash of surprise is the effect in the former case; a flash of surprise, and nothing more; for the nature of things does not sustain the combination. The elaborate and absurd similes and images had to be banished, and fresh and incisive poetic insights would have to replace the stereotyped and labored abstractions of their predecessors. I here use the word Poetry though against my own judgement as opposed to the word Prose, and synonymous with metrical composition.