After reading the Preface to the Second Edition of Lyrical Ballads, choose one of the poems from either edition of this collection by Wordsworth and offer some commentary on whether the poem seems...

After reading the Preface to the Second Edition of Lyrical Ballads, choose one of the poems from either edition of this collection by Wordsworth and offer some commentary on whether the poem seems to exemplify Wordsworth’s poetic theory.  Be as specific as possible. 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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from Lyrical Ballads No. 2 "Three Years She Grew in Sun and Shower"

This poem clearly demonstrates Wordsworth's poetic theory as it exhibits the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" that are remembered in quiet and peace. This poem exhibits the sense of wonder in nature and the universe, but, as Wordsworth demands, the thoughts of the poet supersede the description of nature. In addition, there are ordinary things presented in ways that are connected to nature.

  • The poem appears to be a flow of emotive feelings the are "recollected in tranquility."

In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.

  • It is concerned with the poet's individual emotions

She died and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene,

  • Although nature is in the poem, the real focus is on the feelings and ideas of the poet

The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her, and she shall lean her ear

  • Incidents from everyday life are described.

She died and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene,

  • Rustic life is the topic

That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs,

  • This poem has as its aim to express wonder in the quotidian and the familiar
  • Ordinary things are presented in an uncommon way

The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her, for her the willow bend,

  • There is a sense of wonder and emotional understanding of the world.

In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

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