William Wordsworthby Harold Bloom
Poet Laureate of England from 1843 until his death in 1850, William Wordsworth is often credited as being one of the founders of English Romanticism. Indeed, the 1798 joint publication of Wordsworth's and Coleridge's Lyrical Ballads marked a turning point in English poetry as poets began to emphasize imagination and feeling over the primacy of reason. Wordsworth's poems focused on the natural and the ordinary based on the "real language of men." In his preface to the third edition of Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth set forth his definition of poetry as "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings from emotions recollected in tranquility." The criticism contained in this volume considers Wordsworth's major works and attests to his lasting influence on poetry.
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