In his "Preface" to the Lyrical Ballads (1802), William Wordsworth lays out many of the ideas often associated with Romanticism in English poetry. Among those ideas are the following:
- an emphasis on the "real language" actually spoken by human beings, especially human beings from the lower reaches of society. Wordsworth thus rejects the kind of “poetic” language that had come to seem stale, artificial, and unconvincing.
- an emphasis on "vivid sensation," or heightened emotion and perception.
- an emphasis on using poetry to provide "more than common pleasure."
- an emphasis on "incidents and situations from common life."
- an emphasis on using “imagination” to “throw a certain coloring over” descriptions of such incidents and situations so that
ordinary things should be presented to the mind in an unusual way . . . in order to make these...
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