Essay about What is Typical of Lyrical Ballads

2321 Words 10 Pages
What is Typical of Lyrical Ballads

The group title of the set of poems written by Wordsworth and
Coleridge presents an interesting starting point of analysis. The phrase ‘Lyrical Ballads’ is a paradox as the genres of ‘lyrics’ and
‘ballads’ can be defined as in opposition to each other. A ‘lyric’ is
‘a poem about feeling… addressed to the reader in a manner of private and intimate conversation’. A ‘ballad’ is ‘a narrative poem from an anonymous point of view, often relating to characters from public or historical events, such as war.’ Therefore the two genres are combined under the title ‘Lyrical Ballads’, signifying an unexpected and unusual style from Wordsworth and Coleridge. This is further evidenced by Wordsworth, who
…show more content…
This verse is typical of the style of Wordsworth’s poetry and demonstrates the ‘ordinary language’. The verse is not at all difficult to understand as the language is simple and drawn from a common rhetoric. The stress of the word ‘fair’ in the third line emphasises the qualities of the little girl, whilst the words ‘rustic’ and ‘wildly clad’ place her social position of a common child. The structure of the stanza is also straightforward with an ordinary poetic meter and rhyming pattern, typical of the ‘Lyrical Ballads’. In
‘We are Seven’ this is only diverted from in the final verse

But they are dead; those two are dead!

Their spirits are in heaven!

‘Twas throwing words away; for still

The little Maid would have her will,

And said, ‘Nay, we are seven!’

The final line in the poem ‘And said, ‘Nay, we are seven!’’ underlines the conflicting opinions of the narrator and the girl. This is actually typical of the poem throughout as ‘Then ye are only five’ and
‘What should it know of death?’ are examples of the opposing views which are highlighted by their placement in the structure of the poem.
Again, there is repetition, this time of the word ‘dead’, enforcing the narrator’s perception of the Maid’s brother and sister.

Typically the narrators in Wordsworth’s poems are typified as questioning and often meddling characters who seek explanation and reasoning, for example the narrators in ‘The Last of the

Related Documents