Preface To The Second Edition Of Lyrical Ballad Essay

994 WordsJun 27, 20114 Pages
William Wordsworth's preface to the second edition of Lyrical Ballads" is a major expression of the spirit of English Romanticism. This present essay simply shifts emphasis from the relationship between poem and reader to that between poet and poem. He is deep interested in speaking to the reader by the moral effect of his work. Nevertheless, he defines the poem primarily in term of its author's creative activity. He approaches the idea of poem after discussing the idea of poet. In this sense, a poet is a man who speaks to men; he has great knowledge of human nature, and a mass comprehensive soul. He is the one who can be affected more by imagining things. William Wordsworth then goes on to describe the poem as the result of those power and activities. It is a ‘spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” It means poetry is an expression, or overflow or utterance of feelings or as the product of poet's imagination, operating on his or her perceptions, thoughts and feelings. There is the dominance of feeling over intellect. In fact, feeling becomes the real basis of imagination, which is the power to grasp natural in its totality and to order one's experience. Therefore, Wordsworth talks about the expression of emotion. He gives importance to emotion and feeling rather than intellect in poetic creation. But poetry is not the imitation of human action, as Aristotle believes; rather it is expression of emotion. For him, source of poetry lies either in nature or in poet's heart. Language expresses the natural form and it is closer to rural life. It must be a simple and lucid language of common people. Simple, concrete language expresses a close relationship to the permanent forms of nature, which he associates with rural speech and rural life. He also gives his view about the process of poetic
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