The Preface To The Lyrical Ballads By William Wordsworth

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The Preface to the Lyrical Ballads is an essay composed by William Wordsworth for the second edition of the poetry collection Lyrical Ballads and then greatly expanded in the third edition of 1802. It was written to explain the theory of poetry guiding Wordsworth’s composition of the poems. Wordsworth defends the unusual style and subjects of the poems as experiments to see how far popular poetry could be used to convey profound feeling.
William Wordsworth wrote in the advertisement for the lyrical ballads: The majority of the following poems are to be considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purposes of poetic pleasure.
Wordsworth observes that whatever contains “ A natural delineation of human passions, human characters, human incidents” should be accepted as poetry.
About the Preface:-
The principle object to then which Wordsworth proposed to himself in those poems were to make the incidents of common life interesting by tracing in them, truly but not ostentatiously, the primary lose of nature: chiefly as far as regards the manner in which it associate ideas in a state of excitement. Low and rustic life was generally chosen because in that situation the essential passions of the art finds the better soil in which they can attain their maturity, are less under restrained, and speak of a plainer and more emphatic language; because in

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