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Lyrical Balladsby Michael Schmidt
Synopses & Reviews
... must have come on like punk rock to a public groaning under the weight of over-cooked Augustanisms. The Guardian
The majority of the following poems are to be considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purposes of poetic pleasure.
--William Wordsworth, from the Advertisement prefacing the original 1798 edition
When it was first published, Lyrical Ballads enraged the critics of the day: Wordsworth and Coleridge had given poetry a voice, one decidedly different to what had been voiced before. For Wordsworth, as he so clearly stated in his celebrated preface to the 1800 edition (also reproduced here), the important thing was the emotion aroused by the poem, and not the poem itself. This acclaimed Routledge Classics edition offers the reader the opportunity to study the poems in their original contexts as they appeared to Coleridge's and Wordsworth's contemporaries, and includes some of their most famous poems, including Coleridge's Rime of the Ancyent Marinere.
Twenty-three poems that transformed English poetry
Wordsworth and Coleridge composed this powerful selection of poetry during their youthful and intimate friendship. Reproducing the first edition of 1798, this edition of Lyrical Ballads allows modern readers to recapture the books original impact. In these poems—including Wordsworths Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey and Coleridges The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere—the two poets exercised new energies and opened up new themes.
About the Author
William Wordsworth (17701850) permanently enlarged the range of English poetry both in subject matter and treatment.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (17721834) is best known for his magical early poems and highly imaginative criticism.
Michael Schmidt is the author of the National Book Critics Circle Award finalist Lives of the Poets and the director of the writing school at Manchester Metropolitan University.
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