Putting the Poetry in Order: Poems in Two Volumes (1807)
In the course of the last four chapters Wordsworth has become a poet of divided aims. Lyrical Ballads sets him in the public eye as a gifted but awkward poet. He is the author of short, unusual lyric pieces, of curiously obtuse narrative poetry like ‘The Idiot Boy’ and ‘The Thorn’, a poet who could excite sympathy and even admiration with ‘Tintern Abbey’, and after 1800 a poet on his way to becoming a laughing-stock in the reviews for his commitment to an eccentrically ‘simple’ style of poetry. While this is happening, and taking his career as a poet with it, he is also striving to compose The Recluse, an epic philosophical poem intended to stand alongside Milton’s Paradise Lost as a work of universal significance.
KeywordsBiographical Detail Literary Life Moonlit Night Romantic Sympathy Prose Work
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