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Short discussion on 'Lyrical Ballads' by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Short discussion on 'Lyrical Ballads' 

"Lyrical Ballads" is a groundbreaking collection of poems published in 1798 by the English poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. This collaborative work is often considered a cornerstone in the Romantic literary movement, marking a departure from the prevailing poetic norms of the time.

The collection is known for its emphasis on emotions, nature, and the everyday experiences of common people. Wordsworth, in his preface to the second edition, coined the term "poetry of emotion recollected in tranquility," highlighting the poets' focus on sincere, heartfelt expression inspired by personal experiences and observations.

One of the most famous poems in "Lyrical Ballads" is Wordsworth's "Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey," in which he reflects on the restorative power of nature and the enduring impact of natural landscapes on the human psyche. Coleridge's "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is another notable inclusion, showcasing his mastery of narrative and the supernatural.

"Lyrical Ballads" challenged the formal and stylistic conventions of the 18th-century poetic tradition, opting for a simpler, more accessible language that aimed to connect with a broader audience. The poets sought to capture the profound in the ordinary, celebrating the beauty of the natural world and the human experience.

The impact of "Lyrical Ballads" extended beyond its initial publication, influencing subsequent generations of poets and writers. The collection played a pivotal role in shaping the Romantic movement, which sought to emphasize individual expression, imagination, and a deep connection to nature. Wordsworth's emphasis on the "spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings" and Coleridge's exploration of the mysterious and supernatural left an indelible mark on the trajectory of English poetry.

List of the poems included in Lyrical Ballads

The first edition of "Lyrical Ballads," published in 1798, contained a collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. The subsequent editions, especially the 1800 edition, saw additions and changes to the original collection. Here is a list of some of the key poems from the 1798 edition:

By William Wordsworth:

  1. "Lines Written a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey"
  2. "We Are Seven"
  3. "Expostulation and Reply"
  4. "The Tables Turned"
  5. "An Evening Walk"
  6. "The Thorn"
  7. "The Last of the Flock"
  8. "The Complaint of a Forsaken Indian Woman"

By Samuel Taylor Coleridge:

  1. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"
  2. "The Foster-Mother's Tale"
  3. "The Nightingale"
  4. "The Dungeon"

The 1800 edition included additional poems, such as Wordsworth's "Michael" and Coleridge's "The Dark Ladie" and "The Three Grave Men." The subsequent editions also featured an extended preface by Wordsworth, providing insights into the poets' theories and principles of poetry. It's important to note that the contents varied in different editions of "Lyrical Ballads" as the poets made revisions and additions over time.