Putting the Poetry in Order: Poems in Two Volumes (1807)

  • John Williams
Part of the Critical Issues book series (CRTI)


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.


Biographical Detail Literary Life Moonlit Night Romantic Sympathy Prose Work 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    See Kenneth R. Johnston, Wordsworth and The Recluse (New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1984), p. xvii.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    John Powell Ward, The English Line ( London: Macmillan Press — now Palgrave Macmillan, 1991 ), p. 34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 4.
    Mary Jacobus, Romanticism, Writing, and Sexual Difference: Essays on The Prelude ( Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1989 ), p. 69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 6.
    Frances Ferguson, Wordsworth: Language as Counter-Spirit ( New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1977 ), p. 94.Google Scholar
  5. 9.
    D. D. Devlin, Wordsworth and the Poetry of Epitaphs ( London: Macmillan Press — now Palgrave Macmillan, 1980 ).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 10.
    Geoffrey H. Hartman, ‘Wordsworth Revisited’, in The Unremarkable Wordsworth ( London: Methuen, 1987 ), p. 3.Google Scholar
  7. 11.
    Marjorie Levinson, Wordsworth’s Great Period Poems ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  8. Alan Liu, Wordsworth: The Sense of History ( Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1989 ).Google Scholar
  9. David Simpson, Wordsworth’s Historical Imagination: The Poetry of Displacement ( London: Methuen, 1987 ).Google Scholar
  10. 13.
    Alan Bewell, Wordsworth and the Enlightenment ( New Haven, CT and London: Yale University Press, 1989 ), pp. 222–31.Google Scholar
  11. 14.
    Francis Jeffrey, The Edinburgh Review, XI (October 1807), 214–31, quoted in Romantic Bards and British Reviewers, ed. J. O. Hayden ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1971 ), p. 23.Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    Jonathan Wordsworth, William Wordsworth: The Borders of Vision ( Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1982 ), p. 201.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© John Williams 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Williams

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations