As man advances from the primitive stage, his thoughts and expressions have also advanced, he has acquired new ideas and concepts, these cannot be adequately expressed in rustic language. Raised amid the mountains of Cumberland alongside the River Derwent, Wordsworth grew up in a rustic society, and spent a great deal of his time playing outdoors, in what he would later remember as a pure communion with nature. The Preface is an unofficial manifesto of the English Romantic Movement. Poetry became an immediate and intimate experience told by the experiencer. 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. Thus Wordsworth extends the scope of poetry, by bringing within its folds themes chosen from humble and common life. Wordsworth's reliance on unaffected speech and action and his deep conviction that simplicity of living was a philosophy harmoniously in agreement with nature wrought a revolution in poetic values.
He agreed with Wordsworth's idea of plain poetic diction but felt his colleague had not given enough thought to selecting from the language of everyday life. This quotation illustrates how important this benevolent effect is for the reader. On the other hand, the Romantics place Imagination to a higher position. In despair, he gave up his pursuit of moral questions. The challenge for the poet is to make these ordinary experiences interesting to readers; in other words, the poems attempt to take ordinary subjects and treat them in extraordinary ways.
But various causes might be pointed out 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 he who proves the extent of that pleasure will be desirous to impart. The Romantic Revival It is a fact that the French Revolution, the Napoleonic words and other social and political events did not initiate the Romantic Movement but enriched its content. This may be linked with the sentiments spreading through Europe just prior to the French Revolution. 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. The poetic diction of the eighteenth century, sought to substitute the selection of the language really used by men. The immediate effect on critics was modest, but it became and remains a landmark, changing the course of and. I here use the word Poetry though against my own judgement as opposed to the word Prose, and synonymous with metrical composition.
They allowed free play of imagination in their poetry. 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. He describes poetry as the spontaneous overflow of emotions. Whence is it to come? The debt to Hartley is apparent throughout Lyrical Ballads. We have no sympathy but what is propagated by pleasure: I would not be misunderstood; but wherever we sympathize with pain, it will be found that the sympathy is produced and carried on by subtle combinations with pleasure. Now, be men rural or urban, all of us know that both of them equally take interest in poetry. The truth of this assertion might be demonstrated by innumerable passages from almost all the poetical writings, even of Milton himself.
The 1502 Preface is generally taken as the standard text, and competent critics regard it as a landmark in the history of criticism. Johnsons stanza is a fair specimen: I put my hat upon my head And walked into the Strand, And there I met another man Whose hat was in his hand. Johnson, while no romanticist, was, like Voltaire in France, scornful of neo-classicism's aims and methods and, through ridicule, hastened its undoing. This exponent or symbol held forth by metrical language must in different eras of literature have excited very different expectations: for example, in the age of Catullus, Terence, and Lucretius, and that of Statius or Claudian; and in our own country, in the age of Shakespeare and Beaumont and Fletcher, and that of Donne and Cowley, or Dryden, or Pope. Wordsworth, while defining poetry, goes beyond the Aristotelian concept of poetry as an imitation of an action. On the other hand what it must be allowed will much more frequently happen if the Poets words should be incommensurate with the passion, and inadequate to raise the Reader to a height of desirable excitement, then unless the Poets choice of his metre has been grossly injudicious , in the feelings of pleasure which the Reader has been accustomed to connect with metre in general, and in the feeling, whether cheerful 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.
All in all, I think Wordsworth makes two valuable points that poetry should be simple and direct, as well as that it should be linked to aspects of nature and beauty. It was this preface that contained theories unlike anything published before. If the words, however, by which this excitement is produced be in themselves powerful, or the images and feelings have an undue proportion of pain connected with them, there is some danger that the excitement may be carried beyond its proper bounds. This new form of philosophy became one of the main guidelines of a new school of Romantic poets, writers and philosophers. To check you answers, click 1. But it must be noted that good poetry, according to Wordsworth, is never an immediate expression of such powerful emotions.
Language so selected and purified will no longer be rustic language. Without being culpably particular, I do not know how to give my Reader a more exact notion of the style in which it was my wish and intention to write, than by informing him that I have at all times endeavoured to look steadily at my subject; consequently, there is I hope in these Poems little falsehood of description, and my ideas are expressed in language fitted to their respective importance. Unlike his predecessors, he rebels against their form of poetry by presenting a different format. If my conclusions are admitted, and carried as far as they must be carried if admitted at all, our judgements concerning the works of the greatest Poets both ancient and modern will be far different from what they are at present, both when we praise, and when we censure: and our moral feelings influencing and influenced by these judgements will, I believe, be corrected and purified. Wordsworth defends the unusual style and subjects of the poems some of them may have been actually composed by Samuel Taylor Coleridge as experiments to see how far and accurately popular poetry could be used to convey profound feeling.
Poetry and prose, he says, differ only as to presence or absence of rhyme; they do not differ as to language. For most of the Romantics, life was sacred and valued it. 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 awkwardness: 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. In spite of difference of soil and climate, of language and manners, of laws and customs: in spite of things silently gone out of mind, and things violently destroyed; the Poet binds together by passion and knowledge the vast empire of human society, as it is spread over the whole earth, and over all time. Wordsworth published Elegiac Stanzas and Poems in two volumes in 1803 and 1805 respectively, followed by The Excursion in 1812, Collected Poems in 1815, and Peter Bell and The Waggoner in 1819. If the time should ever come when what is now called science, thus familiarized to men, shall be ready to put on, as it were, a form of flesh and blood, the Poet will lend his divine spirit to aid the transfiguration, and will welcome the Being thus produced, as a dear and genuine inmate of the household of man.
But much confusion has been introduced into criticism by this contradistinction of Poetry and Prose, instead of the more philosophical one of Poetry and Matter of Fact, or Science. But supposing that this were not the case, the Poet might then be allowed to use a peculiar language when expressing his feelings for his own gratification, or that of men like himself. Jointly, they conceived the romantic formula which was to enliven poetry from that day to this, Coleridge with his vast knowledge of German transcendental philosophy in which traces of romanticism were already evident, and Wordsworth with his cunning awareness of the magic of the commonplace. A similar kind of incident triggers the poet to visit the past experiences stored in the unexplored regions of his mind. There are three general reasons guiding the composition of the lyrical ballads. Wordsworth had been looking for a satisfactory psychology, and this was it. In vain to me the smiling mornings shine, And reddening Phbus lifts his golden fire: The birds in vain their amorous descant join, Or cheerful fields resume their green attire.
His poems are full of moral lessons, philosophical truths about life and religion packaged with delight. A good poet must ponder over them long and deeply. During the first year that Mr. The Romantics were compelled to look about for new ways of saying things. Through this book, 'We' have once again proved our strength.