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: For Johnson, reason and common sense still prevailed over imagination and sentiment.
Wordsworth notes that friends had urged him to write a defense of the collection, but he preferred to write instead a "simple" introduction.
They adopted a division of labor in which Coleridge would endeavor through poetic means to make the uncommon supernatural credible; Wordsworth would attempt to make the common uncommon — through simple but meticulous descriptions of everyday things.
They proposed meeting expenses for the modest trip by writing a poem, "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere," and submitting it to the Monthly Magazine in the hope of getting five pounds. Coleridge thought in terms of quick and brilliant generalizations and Wordsworth thought somewhat ploddingly and provided a valuable devotion to detail.
What Burns, Blake, and Cowper, his contemporaries, wanted to do and could not, he did. Their relationship to the natural environment was one of cautious imitation.
However, good poetry can only be created by a true poet. This quotation illustrates how important this benevolent effect is for the reader.
But the poetic doctrines elaborated in the Preface solidly underlay Lyrical Ballads and were the springboard to the expanded philosophy of art throughout The Prelude.
Wordsworth began a serious reading of Godwin and soon determined to abandon his early naive reliance on intuition and subject all his beliefs to close scrutiny. This leads Wordsworth to an attempt to define poetry and its effects on the reader.
He describes poetry as the spontaneous overflow of emotions. Yet, he felt that there was much that was inadequate in the document. Poetry and prose, he says, differ only as to presence or absence of rhyme; they do not differ as to language.
There are three general reasons guiding the composition of the lyrical ballads. Furthermore, he thought the difference between poetry and prose was substantial, and it lay in the different ways they treated the same subject. He sees his poetry, in its concerns with the lives of men such as Michael, as an antidote to the artificial portraits of Man presented in eighteenth-century poetry.
For this, he must have a sensibility far beyond that of the ordinary individual. His Preface to the Lyrical Ballads became the symbol and the instrument of romantic revolt.
They induced a mutual flood of creativity. Definition of poetry For all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feeling: The full emergence of the party system and cabinet government had taken place; the empire grew, trade increased, and the middle class asserted new power.
They did not hold with simple tutelage at the hands of nature; reason and good sense had to intervene. The so-called proto-romantics transition poetsCowper, Gray, Blake, and Burns, among others, balked at merely copying classical subjects and forms once more. ByWordsworth turned back to nature and her wholesome teachings.
Their habit of speaking comes from associating feelings with the permanent forms of nature, such as mountains, rivers, and clouds. They wrote and criticized according to what they considered the proper and acceptable rules of taste.
Inthe poet found himself without a penny, banished from the homes of his relatives, embittered by the excesses of the Revolution in France, and beset by personal fears and uncertainties. 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.
One argument is the purpose of his poetry; the other is the style of his poetry. By contrast, Shakespeare they found crude. They wrote instead about simple, natural things in plain language, though they retained many of the older poetic structures. For our continued influxes of feeling are modified and directed by our thoughts, which are indeed the representative of all our past feelings; and, as by contemplating the relation of these general representatives to each other, we discover what is really important to men, so by the repetition and continuance of this act, our feelings will be connected with important subjects, till at length, if we be originally possessed of such sensibility, such habits of mind will be produced, that by obeying blindly and mechanically the impulses of these habits, we shall describe objects, and utter sentiments of such a nature, and in such connection with each other, that the understanding of the Reader must necessarily be in some degree enlightened, and his affections strengthened and purified.
He was an empiricist in the tradition of Locke. The Romantics were compelled to look about for new ways of saying things.
He had won vogue for his skill in translating the theory of the association of ideas into a psychology of learning. Humble and rustic life Humble and rustic life was generally chosen, because in that condition, the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain their maturity, are less under restraint, and speak a plainer and more emphatic language; because in that condition of life, our elementary feelings co-exist in a state of greater simplicity, and consequently, may be more accurately contemplated, and more forcibly communicated; because the manners of rural life germinate from these elementary feelings, and, from the necessary character of rural occupations, are more easily comprehended, and are more durable; and lastly, because in that condition the passions of men are incorporated with the beautiful and permanent forms of nature.Preface to Lyrical Ballads.
William Wordsworth (). Famous Prefaces. The Harvard Classics.
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Free Essay: On William Wordsworth’s Preface to Lyrical Ballads The late 18th century saw a fundamental change in the historically rigid structure of poetry. In his 'Preface' to the edition of the Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth presented his poetic manifesto, indicating the extent to which he saw his poetry, and that of Coleridge, as breaking away from the 'artificiality', 'triviality' or over-elaborate and contrived quality of eighteenth-century poetry.
The Preface to the Lyrical Ballads is an essay, composed by William Wordsworth, for the second edition (published in Januaryand often referred to as the " Edition") of the poetry collection Lyrical Ballads, and then greatly expanded in Author: William Wordsworth.
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