The first Volume of these Poems has already been submitted to general perusal. It was published, as an experiment, which, I hoped, might be of some use to Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating, how far, by fitting to metrical arrangement a selection of the real language of men in a state of vivid sensation, that sort of pleasure and that quantity of pleasure may be imparted, which a Poet may rationally endeavour to impart.
I had Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating no very inaccurate estimate of the probable effect of those Poems: I flattered myself that they who should be pleased with them would read them with more than common pleasure: The result has differed from my expectation in this only, that I have pleased a greater number, than I ventured to Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating I should please.
I should not, however, have requested this assistance, had I not believed that the Poems of my Friend would in a great measure have the same tendency as my own, and that, though there would be found a difference, there would be found discordance in the colours of our style; as our opinions on the subject of poetry do almost entirely coincide. For to treat the subject with the clearness and coherence, of which I believe it susceptible, it would be necessary to give a full account of the present state of the public taste in this country, and to determine how far this taste is healthy or depraved; which, again, could not be determined, without pointing out, in what manner language and the human mind act and re-act on each other and without retracing the revolutions, not of literature alone, but likewise of society itself.
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 is supposed, that by the act of writing in verse an Author makes a formal engagement that he will gratify certain known habits of association; that he not only thus apprizes the Reader that certain classes of ideas and expressions will be found in his book, but that others will be carefully excluded. This exponent or symbol held forth by metrical language must in different eras of literature have excited very different expectations: I will not take upon me to determine the exact import of the promise which by the act of writing in verse an Author, in the present day, makes to his Reader; but I am certain, it will appear to many persons that I have not fulfilled the terms of an engagement thus voluntarily contracted.
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 aukwardness: I hope therefore the Reader will not censure me, if I attempt to state what I have proposed to myself to perform; and also, as far as the limits of a preface will permit to explain some of the chief reasons which have determined me in the choice of my purpose: The principal object, then, which I proposed to myself in these Poems was to chuse incidents and situations from common life, and to relate or describe them, throughout, as far as was possible, in a selection of language really used by men; and, at the same time, to throw over them a certain colouring of imagination, whereby ordinary things should be presented to the mind in an unusual way; and, further, and above all, to make these incidents and situations interesting by tracing in them, truly though not ostentatiously, the primary laws of our "Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating" Low 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; "Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating" 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 those 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 "Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating" incorporated with the beautiful and permanent forms of nature.
For all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: I have said that each of these poems has a purpose. I have also informed my Reader what this purpose will be found principally to be: The subject is indeed
Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating To this tendency of life and manners the literature and theatrical exhibitions of the country Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating conformed themselves.
In vain to me the smiling mornings shine. And reddening Phoebus lifts his golden fire: The birds in vain their amorous descant join. A different object do these eyes require. My lonely anguish melts no heart but mine.
And in my breast the imperfect joys expire. Yet Morning smiles the busy race to cheer.
And new-born pleasure brings to happier men. The fields to all their wonted tribute bear. To warm their little loves the birds complain. I fruitless mourn to him that cannot hear. And weep the more because I weep in vain.
Richard West" by Thomas Gray, It will easily be perceived that the only part this Sonnet which is of any value is the lines printed in Italics: By the foregoing quotation I have shewn that the language of Prose may yet be well adapted to Poetry; and I have previously asserted that a large portion of the language of every good poem can in no respect differ from that of good Prose. I will go further. I do not doubt that it may be safely affirmed, that there neither is, nor can be, any essential difference between the language of prose and metrical composition.
Whence is it to And "Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating" is it to exist? Not, surely, where the Poet speaks through the mouths of his characters: Taking up the subject, then, upon general grounds, I ask what is meant by the word Poet? What is a Poet? To whom does he address himself?
He is a man speaking to men: But this would be to encourage idleness and unmanly despair. Poetry is the image of man and nature. Nor let this necessity of producing immediate pleasure be considered as a degradation of the Poet's art. It is far otherwise. We have no sympathy but what is propagated by pleasure: What then does the Poet? Poetry is the breath and finer spirit of all knowledge; it is
Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating impassioned expression which is in the countenance of all Science.
Emphatically may it be said of the Poet, as Shakespeare hath said of man, "that he looks before and after. To this I answer: And with what are they connected? The Poet thinks and feels in the spirit of the passions of men. It might be proved that it is impossible. It will now be proper to answer an obvious question, why, professing these opinions, have I written in verse? But I might point out various causes why, when 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 is sensible of the extent of that pleasure will be desirous to impart.
The end of Poetry is to produce excitement in co-existence with an overbalance of pleasure. Now, by the supposition, excitement is an unusual and irregular state of the mind; ideas and feelings do not in that state succeed each other in accustomed order.
But, if the words by which this excitement is produced are 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.
Now the co-presence of something regular, something to which the mind has been accustomed in various moods and in a less excited state, cannot but have great efficacy in tempering and restraining the passion by an intertexture of ordinary feeling, and of feeling not strictly and necessarily connected with the passion. 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.
The metre of the old Ballads is very artless; yet they contain many passages which would illustrate this opinion, and, I hope, if the following Poems be attentively perused, similar instances will be found in them. This opinion may be further illustrated by appealing to the Reader's own experience of the reluctance with which he comes to the re-perusal of the distressful parts of Clarissa Harlowe, or the Gamester.
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 Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating. 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, Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating the Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating 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.
If I had undertaken a systematic defence of the theory upon which these poems are written, it would have been my duty to develope the various causes upon which the pleasure received from metrical language depends. Among the chief of these causes is to be reckoned a principle which must be well known to those who have made any of the Arts the object of accurate reflection; I mean the pleasure which the mind derives from the perception of similitude in dissimilitude.
This principle is the great spring of the activity of our minds, and Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating chief feeder.
From this principle the direction of the sexual appetite, and all the passions connected with it take their origin: It is the life of our ordinary conversation; and "Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating" the accuracy with which similitude in dissimilitude, and dissimilitude in similitude are perceived, depend our taste and our moral feelings. It would not have been a useless employment to have applied this principle to the consideration of metre, and to have shewn that metre is hence enabled to afford much pleasure, and to have pointed out in what manner that pleasure is produced.
But my limits will not permit me to enter upon this subject, and I must content myself with a general summary. I have said that Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: In this mood successful composition generally begins, and in a mood similar to this it is carried on; but the emotion, of whatever kind and in whatever degree, from various causes is qualified by various pleasures, so that in describing any passions whatsoever, which are voluntarily described, the mind will upon the whole be Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating a state of enjoyment.
Now, if Nature be thus cautious in preserving in a state of enjoyment a being thus employed, the Poet ought to profit by the lesson thus held forth to him, and ought especially to take care, that whatever passions he communicates to his Reader, those passions, if his Reader's mind be sound and vigorous, should always be accompanied with an overbalance of pleasure. Now the music of harmonious metrical language, the sense of difficulty overcome, and the blind association of pleasure which bas been previously received from works 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 Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating use in tempering the painful feeling, which will always be found intermingled with powerful descriptions of the deeper passions.
This effect is always produced in pathetic and impassioned poetry; while, in lighter compositions, the ease and gracefulness with which the Poet manages his numbers are themselves confessedly a principal source of the gratification of the Reader. I might perhaps include all which it is necessary to say upon this subject by affirming, what few persons will deny, that, of two descriptions, either of passions, manners, or characters, each of them equally well executed, the one in prose and the other in verse, the verse will be read a hundred times where the prose is read once.
"Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating" 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. I wished to draw attention to the truth that the power of the human imagination is to produce such changes even in our physical nature as might almost appear miraculous.
The truth is an important one; the fact for it is a fact is a valuable illustration of it. And I have the satisfaction of knowing that it has been communicated to many hundreds of people who would never have heard of it, had it not been narrated as a Ballad, and in a more impressive metre than is usual in Ballads.
Having thus explained a few of the reasons why I have written in verse, and why I have chosen subjects from common life, and endeavoured to my language near to
Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating real language of men, if I have been too minute in pleading my own cause, I have at the same time been treating a subject of general interest; and it is for this reason that I request the Reader's permission to add a few words with reference solely to these particular poems, and to some defects which will probably be found in them.
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 can altogether protect himself.
Hence I have no doubt, that, in some instances, feelings even of the ludicrous may be given to my Readers by expressions which appeared to me tender and pathetic. Such faulty expressions, were I convinced they were faulty at present, and that they must necessarily continue to be so, I would willingly take all reasonable pains to correct.
But it is dangerous to make these alterations on the simple authority of a few individuals, or Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating of certain classes of men; for where the understanding of an Author is not convinced, or his feelings altered, this cannot be done without great injury to himself: To this it may be added, that the Reader ought never to forget that he is himself exposed to the same errors as the Poet, and perhaps in a much greater degree: Long as I have detained my Reader, I hope he will permit me to caution him against a mode of false which has been applied to Poetry in which the language closely resembles that of life and nature.
Such verses have been triumphed over in parodies of which Dr. Johnson's Stanza is a fair specimen.
Immediately Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating these lines I will place one of the most justly admired stanzas of the "Babes in the Wood.
In both these stanzas the words, and the order of the words, in no respect differ from the most unimpassioned conversation. There are words in both, for example, "the Strand," and "the Town," connected with none but the most familiar Wordsworth lyrical ballads online dating yet the one stanza we admit as admirable, and the other as a fair example of the superlatively contemptible. Whence arises this difference?
Not from the metre, not from the language, not from the order of the words; but the matter expressed in Dr. Johnson's stanza is contemptible.
Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems is a collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, first published in and generally. English Spring Preface to Lyrical Ballads ().
William Wordsworth. The first Volume of these Poems has already been submitted to general. with this eBook or online at shiraga-zome.info Title: Lyrical Ballads Author: William Wordsworth Samuel Taylor Coleridge Posting Date: November