Lyrical Ballads: by Wordsworth and Coleridge - Summary

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      The Lyrical Ballads was published in September, 1798 jointly by Wordsworth and Coleridge and has since been described as the volume that formally inaugurated the Romantic Movement. Wordsworth and Coleridge approached poetry from slightly different Points of view. Wordsworth would take humble topics and give them extraordinary beauty and Coleridge would deal with the supernatural and make it seem real. The volume contained some of Wordsworth's finest poems, such as We are Seoen, Lines written in early Spring, Expostulation and Reply, The Tables Turmed, and Lines Composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey. Coleridge's masterpiece, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was included in the volume. In the 1800 edition, Wordsworth included Lucy poems and Michael.

Lyrical Ballads
Lyrical Ballads

      The Preface to the Lyrical Ballads is one of the most important poetical documents. It states that the situations of poetry should be taken from common life and that they should be related in "language really used by men". According to Wordsworth, all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. Wordsworth and Coleridge reacted to the gorgeous and artificial language of the eighteenth-century poets. With Wordsworth, the humble things and men are exalted to the highest dignity and democratic trends in poetry were introduced with the publication of The Lyrical Ballads.

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