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Whole Earth Poem Catalog. Is there any blank space left for a new poem, old subjects? William Wordsworth An Epistle; in verse. Johnson, Descriptive Sketches. In Verse. Longman, London, ; London: Printed for J. Arch, ; revised and enlarged edition, 2 volumes, London: Printed for T. Longman and O. Francis, Thanksgiving Ode, January 18, The Waggoner, A Poem. Galignani, Selections from the Poems of William Wordsworth, Esq.

Raynor, The Poetical Works of William Wordsworth 6 volumes, London: Moxon, , ; enlarged, 7 volumes, ; enlarged again, 8 volumes, Kay, Jun. Munroe, Kendal and Windermere Railway. The Poems of William Wordsworth, D. Appleton, Wordsworth's Literary Criticism , edited by Nowell C. Smith London: H.

William Wordsworth | Poetry Foundation

Frowde, White Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, Zall Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, The Cornell Wordsworth , 14 volumes to date, general editor, Stephen M. Parrish Ithaca, N. The Prelude , , , edited by Jonathan Wordsworth, M. Ackermann, Shaver, Mary Moorman, and Alan G.

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Romantic poetry

Mathews London: Dent, Dent, Ben Ross Schneider, Jr. Hall, References: M. This cult of sincerity became prominent among the nineteenth-century romantics, such as Stendhal 85f. Pascal had said, based on his Christian faith, that boredom was the result of a life lived without God.

But the romantics attributed boredom to ordinary daily living, and they sought relief from this boredom in the excitement of drama peopled with characters willing to die for a cause or to die for their beloved f. As the romantic movement progressed, the boredom of daily life came to be identified with morality, so that eventually it was believed that the good thing, the exciting thing, to do was to revolt against morality.

In short, the exciting person, the interesting person had become the immoral person f. In the religion of romanticism, one experiences ennui if he lacks a dramatic devotion to a lover or to a cause. In this romantic religion it is regarded as the heroic thing to do to gain your "true love" at all costs, even if this requires violating morality, for instance, committing adultery, as Emma Bovary did in the novel by the famous romantic author, Flaubert.

The contrast between this romantic theology and the Christian theology is stark indeed. Emma Bovary thought her ennui was caused by the absence of a man, not by the absence of God Bloom notes that Flaubert's novel contains no counterpoising figure to show that Emma's choice was wrong. Thus, he makes it appear that Emma's decision was the only possible alternative to the conventional order.

By depicting vice as attractive, the book undermines public morals and religion. Now, to be sure, there is indeed a crisis in society. But writers like Flaubert have no answer for it, no positive example of what to do about it. All they can do is condemn modern society for its failures; they know of no alternative with which to replace it f.

The only kind of Christianity they depict in their books is a debilitated version. They do not show real Christianity as having an answer So, they end up with no answer. And not only do these later romantics end up with no answer; they even undermine the ideal of marital fidelity, with which Rousseau began the romantic movement.

Indeed, as romanticism developed, it degenerated into ever more sexual decadence, as Camille Paglia showed in her excellent study, Sexual Personae. See the author's review in Journal of Christian Reconstruction , Vol. The Failure of Romanticism Bloom aptly summarizes and contrasts the failures of both the Enlightenment and of romanticism. He says that the Enlightenment was a dull materialism — it had no uplift. In contract, romanticism was a vapid spirituality — it had no foundation Romanticism failed because its goals were imaginary and illusory objects formed by poets who tried to make something out of nothing.

The rope they made to pull men up was not attached to anything 61f. This rope analogy is reminiscent of Cornelius Van Til's analogy of the futility of trying to climb out of water using a ladder made out of water. And Rousseau's sublimation of a higher imaginary realm is reminiscent of Francis Schaeffer's depiction of Kantian and existentialist thought as an "escape from reason" by means of a "leap of faith" into an "upper story.

What he has shown us about Rousseau strengthens Schaeffer's proof that Kantian philosophy is radically unbiblical. Among other things, this led to a prominence for first-person lyric poetry never accorded it in any previous period. The "poetic speaker" became less a persona and more the direct person of the poet.

Wordsworth's Prelude and Whitman's "Song of Myself" are both paradigms of successful experiments to take the growth of the poet's mind the development of self as subject for an "epic" enterprise made up of lyric components. Confessional prose narratives such as Goethe's Sorrows of Young Werther and Chateaubriand's Rene , as well as disguised autobiographical verse narratives such as Byron's Childe Harold , are related phenomena.

The interior journey and the development of the self recurred everywhere as subject material for the Romantic artist. The artist-as-hero is a specifically Romantic type. We have already noted two major differences: the replacement of reason by the imagination for primary place among the human faculties and the shift from a mimetic to an expressive orientation for poetry, and indeed all literature.


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  • In addition, neoclassicism had prescribed for art the idea that the general or universal characteristics of human behavior were more suitable subject matter than the peculiarly individual manifestations of human activity. From at least the opening statement of Rousseau's Confessions , first published in "I am not made like anyone I have seen; I dare believe that I am not made like anyone in existence. If I am not superior, at least I am different. It is true that they advanced certain realistic techniques, such as the use of "local color" through down-to-earth characters, like Wordsworth's rustics, or through everyday language, as in Emily Bronte's northern dialects or Whitman's colloquialisms, or through popular literary forms, such as folk narratives.

    Yet social realism was usually subordinate to imaginative suggestion, and what was most important were the ideals suggested by the above examples, simplicity perhaps, or innocence. Earlier, the 18th-century cult of the noble savage had promoted similar ideals, but now artists often turned for their symbols to domestic rather than exotic sources--to folk legends and older, "unsophisticated" art forms, such as the ballad, to contemporary country folk who used "the language of commen men," not an artificial "poetic diction," and to children for the first time presented as individuals, and often idealized as sources of greater wisdom than adults.

    They were often politically and socially involved, but at the same time they began to distance themselves from the public. As noted earlier, high Romantic artists interpreted things through their own emotions, and these emotions included social and political consciousness--as one would expect in a period of revolution, one that reacted so strongly to oppression and injustice in the world.

    So artists sometimes took public stands, or wrote works with socially or politically oriented subject matter. Yet at the same time, another trend began to emerge, as they withdrew more and more from what they saw as the confining boundaries of bourgeois life. In their private lives, they often asserted their individuality and differences in ways that were to the middle class a subject of intense interest, but also sometimes of horror. Thus the gulf between "odd" artists and their sometimes shocked, often uncomprehending audience began to widen.

    Some artists may have experienced ambivalence about this situation--it was earlier pointed out how Emily Dickinson seemed to regret that her "letters" to the world would go unanswered. Yet a significant Romantic theme became the contrast between artist and middle-class "Philistine. Its reach was also geographically significant, spreading as it did eastward to Russia, and westward to America.