Comparison Of Poetry In Preface To Lyrical Ballads By William Wordsworth

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William Wordsworth once wrote “There neither is, not can be, any essential difference between the language and metrical composition” (147). In his book, “Preface to Lyrical Ballads”, Wordsworth argues for a poetry in which the poet puts an emphasis on emotions, rather than intellect, and on resemblance to common life. He uses these ideas about poetry to claim that prose is essentially no different from poetry. However, many readers might find this idea troublesome; certainly short stories differ from poetry. In this paper, I borrow Wordsworth’s ideas about poetry and explain how William Maxwell’s “Love” can be evaluated as poetry, because it results from Maxwell’s overflow of emotions recollected in tranquility. In doing so, we can catch small details that we otherwise would not have caught, such as the proximity to common life that is present in the short story. In his book, Wordsworth stated perhaps his most famous quote, signaling the break from the restrained, calm neoclassical poetry in which rationality, rather than emotions, were the focus: “Poetry is the spontaneous …show more content…
If the poet truly writes about his emotions in human nature, how can his work, in its core, differ from any other material that also draws from men who feel as vividly as the poet does? In saying this, Wordsworth separates himself from the traditional language of poetry, which focused on decorum and archaism. He brings the poetic language near to the real language of the common men. Wordsworth summarizes his views by saying, “Whether the composition to be in prose or in verse, they require an exact one and the same language” (147). This is not to say that prose is the same thing as poetry; rather, he says formal differences cannot be counted as essential differences between poetry and

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