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. It will easily be perceived that the only part of this Sonnet which is of any value is the lines printed in Italics: I have been much pleased with the poems of the Scottish ploughman scil. Not just this clause but the whole section line ff is absent in the text. Inevitably, perhaps, the above leads Wordsworth towards asking What is a Poet? While Shakespeare’s writings, in the most pathetic scenes, never act upon us as pathetic beyond the bounds of pleasure an effect which, in a much greater degree than might at first be imagined, is to be ascribed to small, but continual and regular impulses of pleasurable surprise from the metrical arrangement.

I wished to draw attention to the truth that the power of the human imagination is sufficient to produce such changes even in our physical nature as might almost appear miraculous. 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. This is similar to what Coleridge claims about the artificiality of aristocratic taste. But this would be to encourage idleness and unmanly despair. We have no sympathy but what is propagated by pleasure: Coleridge’s Biographia Literaria

(PDF) “Preface” to Lyrical Ballads Re-examined | Ramkrishna Bhattacharya –

Immediately balladx these lines I will place one of the most justly admired stanzas dssay the “Babes in the Wood. This is unquestionably true, and hence, though the opinion will at first appear paradoxical, from the tendency of metre to divest language in a certain degree of its reality, and thus to throw a sort of half consciousness of unsubstantial existence over the whole composition, there can be little doubt but that more pathetic situations and sentiments, that is, those which have a greater proportion of pain connected with them, may be endured in metrical composition, especially in rhyme, than in prose.

How to cite this page Choose cite format: 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.


Romantic Poetry and Prose, New York: I am sensible that my associations must have sometimes been particular instead of general, and that, consequently, giving to things a false importance, sometimes from diseased impulses I may have written upon unworthy subjects; but I am less apprehensive on this account, than that my language may frequently have suffered from those arbitrary connections of feelings and ideas with particular words and phrases, from which no man eordsworths altogether protect himself.

One more quotation and I have done. There are words in both, for example, “the Strand,” and “the Town,” connected with none but the most familiar ideas; yet the one stanza we admit as admirable, and the other as a fair example of the superlatively contemptible.

Turner Introduction This page is found under the author, William Wordsworth. Ye winds, that have made me your sport, Convey to this desolate shore Some cordial endearing report Of a land I must visit no more.

The agitation and confusion of mind were in both cases delightful, and no wonder if he confounded the one with the other, and believed them both to be produced by the same, or similar causes.

It will now be proper to answer an obvious question, namely, why, professing these opinions, have I written in verse? The ordinary man, Wordsworth believes, is closer to nature; and therefore closer to human-nature. It is far otherwise.

wordsworths preface to the lyrical ballads essay

And new-born pleasure brings to happier men. However, their methods are slightly different.

Preface to the Lyrical Ballads Analysis by Wordsworth

My Friends, do they now and then send A wish or a thought after me? Wordsworth found inspiration from everyday figures of everyday life.

wordsworths preface to the lyrical ballads essay

Back to William Wordsworth. We see that Pope by the power of verse alone, has contrived to render the plainest common sense interesting, and even frequently to invest it with the appearance of passion.

But my limits will not permit me to enter upon this subject, and I must content myself with a general summary.

So even though the Lyrical Ballads was a collaborative effort, it was Wordsworth who added the preface in the edition and refined in In succeeding times, Poets, and men ambitious of the fame of Poets, perceiving the influence of such language, and desirous of producing the same effect, without having the same animating passion, set themselves to a mechanical adoption of those figures of speech, and made use of them, sometimes with propriety, but much more frequently applied them to feelings and lyricall with which they had no natural connection whatsoever.

Accordingly, such a language, arising out of the repeated experience and regular feelings is a more permanent, and a far more philosophical language, than that which is frequently substituted for it by Poets, who think that they are conferring honor upon themselves and their art, in proportion as they separate themselves from the sympathies of men, and indulge in arbitrary and capricious habits of expression, in order to furnish food for fickle appetites, of their own creation.


They who have been accustomed to the gaudiness and inane lyrica 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: Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; it is the ppreface expression which is in the countenance of all Science. Routledge first published This new trend of poetry, created by both Wordsworth and Coleridge in Lyrical Balladsled to many criticisms.

Summary To Preface To The Lyrical Ballads Research Paper Example :

As to Wordsworth, it will be salutary to pay attention to what J. The Reader or Hearer of this distorted language found himself in a perturbed and unusual state of mind: Only four poems in Lyrical Ballads are written by Coleridge and all remaining by Wordsworth refer to the table of contents link.

Now the music of harmonious metrical language, the sense of difficulty overcome, and the pyrical association of pleasure which bas been previously received from essat of rhyme or metre of the same or similar construction, an indistinct perception perpetually renewed of language closely resembling that of real life, and yet, in the circumstance of metre, differing from it so widely, all these imperceptibly make up a complex feeling of delight, which is of the most important use in tempering the painful feeling, which will always be found intermingled with powerful descriptions of the deeper passions.

wordsworths preface to the lyrical ballads essay

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 honorable bigotry for the objects which have long continued to please them: The Role of Poetry and the Poet The ordinary man, Wordsworth believes, is closer to nature; and therefore closer to human-nature.

The power of any art is limited; and he will suspect, that, if I propose to furnish him with new friends, it is only teh condition of wordswofths abandoning his old friends. To warm their little loves the birds complain. If I had undertaken a systematic defence of the theory upon worddsworths these poems are written, it would have been my duty to develope the various causes upon which the pleasure received from metrical language depends.

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