What, according to Wordsworth, is "the great spring of the activity of our minds" in "Preface to the Lyrical Ballads"?

According to Wordsworth, the spring of mental activity comes from contrast between different things. In poetry, the different things he contrasts are regular rhyme and rhythm schemes and rural themes and language. The combination of disparate parts confuses and stimulates the mind, and produces engagement and beauty.

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In the "Preface to Lyrical Ballads" Wordsworth discusses the pleasure we receive from the deployment of regular metrical language in a poem. This is Wordsworth's way of reassuring his readers that although his conception of poetry is indeed revolutionary in terms of its language and subject matter, it will not depart from the tried and trusted principles of regular poetic meter.

According to Wordsworth, metrical regularity isn't just something that gives order and stability to a poem. It also gives its readers pleasure....

(The entire section contains 257 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on March 26, 2020