E 316K - Wordsworth - William Wordsworth (1770-1850) Born...

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William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
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Born 1770 at Cockermouth, Cumbria; son of an attorney Attended St. John’s College, Cambridge While on a continental tour in 1790-91, became an enthusiastic advocate of the French Revolution and its republican ideals Living in France in 1791, had an affair with Annette Vallon, which produced a daughter Met Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1795, beginning literary history’s most notable artistic collaborations
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Lyrical Ballads (1798) Written with Coleridge, Lyrical Ballads (1798) is a seminal text of English Romanticism Of the composition, Coleridge later wrote: ‘it was agreed that my endeavours should be directed to persons and characters supernatural or at least romantic . . . Mr. Wordsworth, on the other hand, was to propose to himself as his object, to give the charm of novelty to things of the everyday.’ Wordsworth’s contributions include: ‘The Thorn,’ ‘The Idiot Boy,’ ‘Simon Lee, the old Huntsman,’ ‘Lines written in early spring,’ and ‘Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey’; Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner , ‘The Foster-Mother’s Tale,’ ‘The Nightingale,’ and ‘The Dungeon’ The poems’ low subjects, ordinary language, and alleged banality and repetition were subjected to critical ridicule at the time of first publication, but inspired a new type of lyrical poetry divorced from the “artificial” poetic diction and form of the past
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Preface to the Lyrical Ballads (1800) 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? And what language is to be expected from him? He is a man speaking to men: a man, it is true, endued with more lively sensibility, more enthusiasm and tenderness, who has a greater knowledge of human nature, and a more comprehensive soul, than are supposed to be common among mankind; a man pleased with his own passions and volitions, and who rejoices more than other men in the spirit of life that is in him; delighting to contemplate similar volitions and passions as manifested in the goings-on of the Universe, and habitually impelled to create them where he does not find them. To these qualities he has added a disposition to be affected more than other men by absent things as if they were present; an ability of conjuring up in himself passions, which are indeed far from being the same as those produced by real events, yet (especially in those parts of the general sympathy which are pleasing and delightful) do more nearly resemble the passions produced by real events, than anything which, from the motions of their own minds merely, other men are accustomed to feel in themselves; whence, and from practice, he has acquired a greater readiness and power in expressing what he thinks and feels, and especially those thoughts and feelings which, by his own choice, or from the structure of his own mind, arise in him without immediate external excitement.
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E 316K - Wordsworth - William Wordsworth (1770-1850) Born...

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