Lyrical Ballads

Topics: William Wordsworth, Romantic poetry, Poetry Pages: 3 (845 words) Published: May 19, 2013
Preface to Lyrical Ballads Analysis

William Wordsworth was an English romantic poet, who helped launch the romantic poetry era, along with his counterpart Samuel Coleridge. In his “Preface to Romantic Ballads,” Wordsworth provides his audience of an understanding of his style of poetry. In fact he strays away from the complex, verbose and mind-boggling poetry presented before his time, ascribing to the statement written by David Thoreau in “Walden”, “Simplicity, Simplicity, Simplicity!” Even though Thoreau is speaking in a completely different context, the statement he makes provides to understand what Wordsworth is advocating. Wordsworth claims that there is certain simplicity to poetry, it shouldn’t contain over arching themes and incomprehensible ideas that can be ascertained by a full analysis of the poem itself. He ascribes to a completely different principle, the idea of words holding a direct meaning, linking to the natural elements that support maturity and growth, and maintaining a central and comprehensible thought.

In the beginning of Wordsworth’s “Preface to Lyrical Ballads,” he addresses his predecessors and talks about poetry before his time. “They who have been accustomed to the gaudiness and inane phraseology of 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 (Stanza 4).” Wordsworth thus claims that’s his predecessors will have issues with his poetry based on simplicity and the language that he maintains throughout his poems. Unlike other poets his ideas lead straight to the point, and there are no completely abstract, innate or thought provoking ideas that can surmise from his poetry. In fact, He substantiates his ideas with natural and rustic themes, “humble and rustic life was generally chosen, because, in the condition, the essential passions of the heart find a better soil in which they can attain maturity, are less under...
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