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William Wordsworth (1770 – 1850)

Nationality: British Periods: British: 19th Century

poet laureate in 1843, contributor to Lyrical Ballads

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Our pages on these individual works by William Wordsworth

Collected Poems of William Wordsworth

Lyrical Ballads

The Prelude

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Criticism about William Wordsworth

Aesthetics of Shock in Wordsworth
This graduate student essay shows how “the Freudian notion of the shock illuminates Wordsworth’s experience of the urban crowd.”
Contains: Criticism
Author: Remy Roussetzki
From: Schuykill Spring 2000
Analysis Interminable in the Other Wordsworth
Explores the relationship between Wordworth’s poetry and Freud’s psychoanalysis.
Contains: Criticism,
Author: Joel Faflak
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol 16 November 1999
Remember Wordsworth
This critical essay examines the relationship between Wordsworth’s life and “his most memorable poetry.”
Contains: Criticism
Author: G. Kim Blank
From: The Antigonish Review Issue 115
Tautology and Imaginative Vision in Wordsworth
” Who is the drowned man of Esthwaite? Where does he come from, and where does he take us? That enigmatic figure may be found at the centre of the first of the Prelude spots of time, which describes an incident dating from Wordsworth’s first week at Hawkshead, in May 1779.”
Contains: Commentary, Criticism,
Author: Duncan Wu
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol 2 May 1996
Vagrancy Smoked Out: Wordsworth �betwixt Severn and Wye�
“�Civil War is a vagrant� is the type of strong conceit that lingers in the mind. If Wordsworth knew the proverb from Fuller, he is likely to have recalled this gloss as well. And if he did, can it be accidental that his view of the same �pleasant Prospect�, at a time of war, seems disturbed – in the reading of recent critics -by �vagrant dwellers� (my emphasis) of �strictly notional being�? At the least, I will argue that this passage in Fuller provides a striking parallel to Wordsworth�s poem.”
Contains: Commentary, Criticism,
Author: David Chandler
From: Romanticism On the Net Vol 11 August 1998
William Wordsworth
This lengthy analysis of the author’s’ life and work includes sections on “The Influence of Rousseau “, “Friendship with Coleridge”, “Lyrical Ballads”, “Sonnets; Later Years”, “Wordsworth and Shelley”, “The Lucy poems” and “His Description of the Moral Emotions.”
Contains: Extensive Bio, Criticism, Bibliography
Author: Emile Legouis
From: The Cambridge History of English and American Literature Volume XI: English, The Period of the French Revolution
‘The Words He Uttered …’: A Reading of Wordsworth
“If Wordsworth’s passage suggests that poems aspire to the condition of epitaph, it implies, too, that epitaphs share in the nature of poems. What activates awareness of this two-way exchange is the close where the lines describe their own life and death; ‘this breath’ challenges the notion that all writing is ineluctably textual and sets off its own ‘images attendant on the sound’, including an image of the breath drawn by the poet composing the lines which his character speaks and the breath drawn by the reader re-shaping the lines. ‘This’ collapses the gap between the dramatic moment and the reading moment. By means of guileful rhythms the reader is lured to retrace the way ‘this breath’ ‘shapes itself in words / To speak of him, and instantly dissolves’. Inevitably, or such is the impression created by the regular stresses, purposeful utterance shapes itself and ‘dissolves’.”
Contains: Commentary, Criticism,
Author: Michael O’Neill
From: Romanticism on the Net Vol 3 August 1996
Wordsworth and Romantic Geography
Text of a paper given at the 1996 “Graduate Student Conference in Romanticism.” It discusses “how Wordsworth creates a new Romantic geography out of the Lake District by reversing the relationship between the centre and the margin.”
Contains: Commentary, Criticism,
Author: Nahoko Miyamoto
Wordsworth’s Revolution in Poetic Language
The text of an essay, written by Keith Hanley of Lancaster University. Appears in the on-line journal: Romanticism On the Net, a Peer-reviewed, Electronic Journal devoted to Romantic studies.
Contains: Criticism,
Author: Keith Hanley
From: Romanticism On the Net 9 Vol 9 February 1998
Keywords: “Lyrical Ballads”

Biographical sites about William Wordsworth

William Wordsworth
Provides a brief biographical sketch of the poet, full text of several poems, and links to other web sites.
Contains: Sketch, Pictures, Bibliography, Webliography,
Author: Academy of American Poets

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Last Updated Apr 29, 2013