Vision and Disenchantment: Blake's Songs and Wordsworth's Lyrical Ballads

Overview

Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience and Wordsworth's contributions to Lyrical Ballads were both published in the last decade of the eighteenth century. The similarities between the two collections have often been noticed. However, as Dr Glen argues, to assimilate both collections to a common 'Romanticism' is to obscure that which is most distinctive in each. Each was shaped by and responsive to very different social and cultural pressures in the England of its time and offers a very different vision of ...

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Overview

Blake's Songs of Innocence and of Experience and Wordsworth's contributions to Lyrical Ballads were both published in the last decade of the eighteenth century. The similarities between the two collections have often been noticed. However, as Dr Glen argues, to assimilate both collections to a common 'Romanticism' is to obscure that which is most distinctive in each. Each was shaped by and responsive to very different social and cultural pressures in the England of its time and offers a very different vision of human possibility. Moreover each poet uses the language which is the intimate register and vehicle of his society's experience in a very different way. This is a challenging and persuasive interpretation of poems too often seen as part of a coherent and accepted literary tradition: poems which present a continuing challenge to all who would explore possibilities for creative social change. It will be of great interest to all serious readers of Romantic poetry.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521271981
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/7/1983
  • Pages: 412
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; Note on the texts; Introduction; 1. Poetic 'simplicity': Blake's Songs and eighteenth-century children's verse; 2. Poetic 'simplicity': Lyrical Ballads and magazine verse; 3. The real language of men; 4. Vision and morality: Songs of Innocence; 5. The morality of experience: Songs of Experience; 6. Morality through experience: Lyrical Ballads 1798; 7. Desire and disillusion: the Goslar Lyrics; 8. Names and signs: the poems of Grasmere; Conclusion; Notes; Index.

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