William Wordsworth

Goody Blake, and Harry Gill, A True Story 

  1. Careful character crafting, not necessarily allegoric but rather poetic

ABABCDCD rhyme scheme throughout the poem – crafting

Ownership of spiritual and Property of materialistic

2. The dichotomies of young and old, energetic and feeble, the “having” and the “not having”, the faith and the disbelief

We Are Seven 

  1. Different perceptions of death: spiritual and corporeal, interrogation of existence

Importing ideas into each other

2. Child might be defending herself, more sophisticated than what people commonly perceive

3. Introducing profundity into a creature of mice

4. Greater existence than the physical world, not even religion can explain

5. Many dimensions that exist beyond man’s consciousness

a. Everyone is a constructed being, everything is deceptively simple, creating irony

6. Allures and Pitfalls of this treatment: Children may be closer to truth than experienced adults

Lines Written in Early Spring 

“What man has made of man?” –Seemingly pleasant but very sad poem

Man trying to be part of Nature, no harmony of human and nature →

Man domesticating the wild: but Nature domesticate men →

Men domesticating themselves

Interruption of the selves

The French Revolution and Industrial Revolution and Slavery

The Nature bestow on men do not require anything returned back, but what have human beings done to other human beings?

The ordinary labor of ordinary human being, the poetics that apply to the people

What does it mean to your people if allusions are from Greek and Latin?

Education should teach the connection and unity, not how to isolate oneself

Affirming native superiority because of the origin

Defining the self with a national identity

Jane Austen: femaleness on who the other gender is

Prose and Poetry are artificially separated

The Tables Turned 

The debate between the power of nature and the power of art, Wordsworth seems to believe in Nature in this poem – or every poem for that sake

Ode: Intimation of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

  1. An argument that goes back and forth
  2. “But yet I know, where’er I go, that there has passed a glory from the earth”
    1. Rubbing away life and energy
    2. More experience = more awareness of ignorance
    3. Self-evolving persona in the speaker of every poem
    4. Birth and death, endless cycle
    5. Mind getting older, while the Nature is in an immortal repetition
  3. A revolutionary radical in young days, later becoming less radical
  4. Strictly rhymed, re-inventing the genre
    1. Popolating it in his environment
  5. Losing something must be gaining something
  6. What we learn is a confinement of our perpections
    1. –> every piece of knowledge pieces up this prison house
  7. When we know, we cannot talk about it
    1. Mind is not working on it to discussion
    2. Language is a communal act, biases rising from language and expression
    3. Child is becoming imprisone
  8. Critical writing can only go to an extent, shades of truth remain to be shades instead of the actual truth
    1. “Biases are the iron bars of our prison cell”
    2. As far back as Antigony?
    3. Feeling the confinement of convention
    4. Paradoxical part of the argument
  9. “Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting”
    1. The soul has no gendered quality
    2. We share the same soul and force and belief (doubting the truth)

“To me the meanest flower that blows can give

Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.”

Sublimity = Immortality, the Nature

“Our noisy years seem moments in the being

Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,

To perish never;

Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavor,

Nor Man nor Boy,

Nor all that is at enmity with joy,

Can utterly abolish or destroy! “

[I wandered as lonely as a cloud] 

  1. “Emotions recollected in tranquility”: the objective correlative in later generations by Keats and Eliot some features that are important but not in the poem, different things evoke different feelings
    1. The most important part of the poem is at the end, in his couch.
    2. Expressive of the mood, the experience and the writing cannot take place at the same time
  2. Meditation: subconsciousness, reflection, “let it sink in and come out like a butterfly”
  3. Work done in secret and solitude
  4. “egotistical sublime” — critisicm from Keats (who eliminates the “I”)

“For all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings:”

  1. Preparing for poetry by meditation, which may become the second nature, also where the ego comes in
  2. Meditation produce the feelings and creates the things that resonates with people
  3. Writing all the poems in proses first in order to have all the emotions down and craftsmanship then comes in – Yeats

Preface to Lyrical Ballads 

  1. One experience by itself is never enough
  2. The  emotion is not the emotion when it was still an emotion
  3. Philosophy of the self
  4. The beauty is what lasts (Breath of Gods)
    1. Ordinary language for ordinary people.
  5. Not always living up to his own values, but opens up huge possibilities

“The subject is indeed important! For the human mind is capable of being excited without the application of gross and violent stimulants; and he must have a very faint perception of its beauty and dignity who does not know this, and who does not further know that one being is elevated above another, in proportion as he possesses this capability.”

  1. Writership and Readership
    1. Reading is the most democratic act in art
    2. “Everyone is misreading every text”
      1. Criticism after criticism of one poem
    1. Authorship over the archetype one chooses to write
      1. Some subjects privileged over the other
      2. Individually, all of us, intellectual people, develop our own tastes
    2. Contractural situation of the writer being aware of a readership
      1. Taking the reader into consideration
      2. Author having a dialogue with the reader, implicit in every writing act.
        1. An action is independent of the two parties
        2. Author not standing on the pedastel
      3. Language is not individual, a communal affair, it is not anyone decide
        1. Author using the language: medium/system that already have connotations within them
        2. Legal situation: power versus the powerless, contracting is useless

        Same with the writer and reader

      4. Liberation of both the writer and the reader
    3. Stimulus of a young age is different from a stimulus of a youth or middle age
      1. Closer to apprehending reality as a children
      2. Experience (Imitation) imitating Innocence (first experience)
  1. Writing, being a poet, is a cultivated situation
    1. How human distribute mental and material resources in society
      1. The breaking away from the convention is an act of independent thinking
      2. So incoherent with what surrounds, a higher sensibility

Leech Gathering / Tintern Abbey (Greater Romantic Lyric) / Daffodils

Tintern Abbey (Greater Romantic Lyric) – Published 1798, in his younger days

Not an Ode, which is written for a public audience

Entirely in iambic pentameter

Opening stanza: Second visit to Tintern Abbey

Setting of the scene – Imagining the first time visiting the place

Healing effect of this travel

The necessity of this restoration is for the contemplation

“Until, the breath of this corporeal frame,

And even the motion of our human blood

Almost suspended, we are laid asleep

In body, and become a living soul:”

Transcending humanity, human soul uniting with natural soul; transcendence of time

The rememberance of it is higher than its physical aspect

Several instances of life united together, a state in which too much is contained

A turn in the tone – “If this/Be but a vain belief”

Sylvan Wye: a river that is important to the poet’s life

Flowing by Tintern Abbey

Shadow of the doubts: present time, future years, five years ago

Living present is living future

Being conscious of himself being in nature

Children not aware of being in Nature

Casual and causal sense of knowing the Nature

How important is imagination?

Why would it be important? Compose into themselves – durational insights

Imaginative energy, united in production in language

Interwoven natural elements


Gothic notion from the next section

Unreflective joy. Thinking is a question of perception

Perceiving the nature and imagine what it is

Recognizing infinity of nature and humanity

“The still, sad music of humanity” – “What man has made of man”

Industrial Revolution, forced out of their natural habitat, human-nature dichotomy

Natural habitat of nature

The confines of human body limits the thoughts that it is able to handle

Confronting Nature, and seeing this architecture decay over years, the contemplation of whether human is capable of handling their thoughts


The Prelude: The artist’s account of his own growth

Reflections on memories

The mind as a river with tributaries

The infusing and branching

Mother-Babe passing down heirs resembling the branching of river

Idea of motherhood as a female divine

Empowering the non compass mentis: elevating mother and child

The gaining of a moral consciousness (stealing the Shepard’s boat, and scared by the stone – causing the realization of doing something wrong) <– a gothic experience: sublime, facing something in grand scale, the feeling of doing something wrong

Spots of time with fructifying virtue

The source of creativity – the potential and inspiration will come at a later time

Retrospective thinking of memory

“The Unexamined Life is not Worth Living” – Socrates

The interrogation itself is the mere starting point


William Wordsworth Presentation

  1. Lyrical Ballads
    1. An order of the principle of writing poetry: man writing for men
  2. Jane Austen: Pride and Prejudice, encapsulates what Wordsworth tries to do in his poetry
    1. What makes a poet?
      1. An intense emotional intelligence
      2. More than average education
      3. A certain amount of experience
      4. Acute awareness of, if not participatation in, Poetry of Old
    2. Poets need to step down from the height of the normal poetry
      1. Rebellion against Old Poetry, but really aware of it and know much about it
      2. Milton and Shakespeare – acknowledging forefathers
    3. Portrait of the poets: Wordsworth and Coleridge
      1. Both of them qualify
        1. Poets do more than common men
      2. Appreciate each other a lot
    4. Portrait of privilege and power
      1. Putting everything into language
      2. Work cannot be done without common people
        1. Having an audience
  3. Poetry becomes aa connection between the poet and the common people
    1. Creating connection instead of dichotomy
    2. Distinguishing the poet from the fabric of humanity

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of this world.


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