Wordsworth's Poetry 1787-1814: Geography, Mobility, and Style

By Geoffrey Hartman

*First released in 1964*

The drama of realization and maturation within the development of a poet's brain is traced from Wordsworth's earliest poems to The day trip of 1814. Mr. Hartman follows Wordsworth's progress into self-consciousness, his consciousness of the autonomy of the spirit, and his turning again to nature. The apocalyptic bias is introduced out, probably for the 1st time given that Bradley's Oxford Lectures, and with no slighting whatsoever his greatness as a nature poet. particularly, a dialectical relation is confirmed among his visionary mood and the sluggish and vacillating development of the humanized or sympathetic mind's eye. Mr. Hartman offers a phenomenology of the brain with very important bearings at the Romantic move as a complete and as affirmation of Wordsworth's the most important place within the historical past of English poetry. Mr. Hartman is professor of English and comparative literature on the college of Iowa.

"A such a lot special booklet, refined, penetrating, profound."—Rene Wellek. "If it's the objective of feedback to light up, to guage, and to ship the reader again to the textual content for a clean interpreting, Hartman has succeeded in developing the grounds for this sort of renewal of appreciation of Wordsworth."—Donald Weeks, magazine of Aesthetics and paintings feedback.

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Wordsworth’s articles or “system” are acknowledged to be derived from Associationism (Sperry and Beatty agree in this), in order that he couldn't surely write approximately whatever yet infancy and boyhood. in the end those have been guaranteed to be exhausted, and the poet used to be left with no strength or topic (Sperry, ch. eight, “The System”). Sperry doesn't see that Associationism, for Wordsworth, isn't really an unique reason for the expansion and operation of the brain. it is just one type of facts that the mind's eye will be “socialized.

Four. “The activities of youth, and the premature demise of promising early life, is … a standard subject of poetry. Mr. Wordsworth has made a few clean verse approximately it; yet, rather than the pleasant and picturesque sketches with which such a lot of authors of average abilities have awarded us in this inviting topic, all that he's happy to speak of his rustic baby, is, that he used to amuse himself with shouting to the owls, and listening to them resolution. … this can be all we pay attention of him; and for the sake of this one accomplishment, we're advised, that the writer has often stood mute, and gazed on his grave for part an hour jointly!

What human figures look in “Salisbury simple” really positioned guy in query: opposed to him are ranged the powers in earth or of his personal unrecognized mind's eye. but the lively presence of human figures is fascinating and constitutes an boost over Descriptive Sketches. Wordsworth invents for the 1st time a human equipment to precise what's an primarily nonhuman panorama feeling. He makes use of the same approach for “The Thorn” (March–April 1798), and anticipations of it are present in the determine of the feminine Vagrant of a night stroll.

I had no such fears as may have come to me had I thought of her as a man or woman. ” * The fragment may perhaps commemorate a trip to Derwentwater in 1794. however it describe the unforeseen awakening of the reminiscence of Derwent within the presence of an Alfoxden (or different) scene. * Cf. above, p. 169: “As inward motions of the wandering concept / Lead me, or outward condition impels. ” * The “I” is surprisingly doubled, suggesting maybe that the “I” that units the limits, as among self and non-self, has been elided, yet now not the i'm of the first mind's eye.

There has been no such factor as an off-the-cuff pleasure or unhappiness. Such ‘justification by means of nature’ used to be no longer, even though, an easy subject, to be decided via one experience—Wordsworth’s reaction is usually not on time for a substantial time. His spirit could be “shy,” or stirrings might upward push from nearly forgotten depths. It was once on studying a sentence in a friend’s manuscript (Wilkinson’s “Tour in Scotland”) that the two-year-old reminiscence of the solitary reaper back to him;12 and even though the poem doesn't checklist this without delay, it displays an identical truth, that the mind's eye was once revived from an unsuspected resource.

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