What are the main features of poetry of the romantic revival?

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kc4u | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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In 1798, Wordsworth and Coleridge published Lyrical Ballads jointly. A preface to it was added in 1800 by Wordsworth. This is what historically initiated the poetry of Romantic Revival. The word 'Revival' indicates that they were trying to recreate with a difference, the Elizabethan romantic aura as against the Neo-Classical framework.


1. The stress on imagination as against intellect. Wordsworth in his preface defined poetry as "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings". Coleridge classified imagination as primary and secondary/poetic in Biographia Literaria. Poets were divined by their imagination. Romanticism is often called 'the renaissance of wonder.'

2. This was poetry of subjectivity as opposed to the Neo-Classical objectivity. The quest of the I/ the self in relation to the transcendental self of divinity was the journey.

3. Emotion and passion were given priority over reason. Worsworth said poetry was born of 'emotions recollected in tranquility.' So, memory too played a key role.

4. This was non-elitist democratic poetry that defined the poet as just another man talking to other men. They argued that poetic language has to be a very normal language and not very different from the everyman's speech.

5. The slogan was 'return to nature'. There was no elitist urbanity in their poetry. Nature both outer and inner was seen as innocence, purity, safety and fascination.

6. Humanism, love of mankind, progressive anthropomorphic attitude characterized their works.

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