Samuel Taylor Coleridge,William Wordsworth

Lyrical Ballads: 1800

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Lyrical Ballads is a poetic collection by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, first published in 1798 and marked as the start of the English Romantic movement. Here we published the two volumes of the second edition from 1800, in which Wordsworth included additional poems and a preface detailing the pair's avowed poetical principles. The immediate effect of the 1798 volume was modest, but over time it has become a landmark and changed the course of English literature and poetry. Wordsworth contributed most of the poems to this volume but those by Coleridge include perhaps his most famous – “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”. Wordsworth and Coleridge set out to radically change the stuffy, learned and highly structured forms of 18th century English poetry in an effort to bring the true beauty of poetry to ordinary people by writing in everyday language. An emphasis was placed on the vitality of the conversational wording that the poor use to express their own lives. Using this language also helps assert the universality of human emotions. Even the title brings to mind rustic forms of art – the word “lyrical” links the poems with the ancient rustic bards and lends an air of spontaneity, while “ballads” are an oral mode of storytelling used by ordinary people. If the experiment with vernacular language was not enough of a departure from the norm, the focus on simple, uneducated country people as the subject of poetry was a signal shift to modern literature. One of the main themes of “Lyrical Ballads” is the return to the original state of nature, in which people led a purer and more innocent existence.
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185 printed pages

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Quotes

    Дмитрий Кувшиновhas quotedlast year
    Beaumont and Fletcher, and that of Donne and Cowley, or Dryden, or Pope.

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