Analysis Of William Maxwell's 'Love' By William Wordsworth

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William Wordsworth once declared “poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings” (151) in his “Preface to Lyrical Ballads.” When reading this assertion, one might think Wordsworth believes that poetry is made simply by writing down one’s feelings, void of any processing or reflection. However, Wordsworth recognizes that writing poetry requires a combination of intellectual processes, namely recollection and contemplation, by adding that “[poetry] takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility: the emotion is contemplated till […] successful composition […] begins” (151). In this paper, I borrow and expand on Wordsworth’s ideas about poetry to examine how William Maxwell’s short story “Love” results from Maxwell’s secondary…show more content…
At first, an external source, such as an object in nature or a personal experience, influences and inspires the poet so deeply, that an overflow of emotions is created. Even though this experience provides the poet a basis for his poetry, Wordsworth doesn’t believe sensibility alone should dictate poetry. At this stage, the poet is too overwhelmed by his feelings; he is unable to evaluate his emotions and articulate them rationally. A certain amount of time must pass in order to distance himself from the original experience and mental state along with it so that the poet can focus and convey the emotions needed for his poetry. Then the poet goes through a calm recollection and evaluation of the incident and his emotions. The poet must be calm when he looks back on his past experience because it provides him an opportunity to be rational when he relives and reenacts his past emotions he wishes to express in his work. During this recollection, the poet also reflects and evaluates the emotions he experienced; he finds the importance of the experience and realizes the value of his actions, thoughts and…show more content…
The narrator’s emotional mindset reflects both the time of the incident and the moment of composition, when the original emotions go through the process of recollection and reflection. Also, it’s interesting to note that “Love” is a short story, not a poem. However, by recognizing that short stories can also be an outcome of the author’s calm recollection of an outburst of emotions, we have gained a deeper insight into the author’s inner operations for the composition
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