Corpsey

bandz ahoy
One of the stumbling points for me with WW and Coleridge is all the "O!"s, that seem anachronistic in comparison to the pared down, naturalistic language they use for much of the time.

And some words have become Romantic clichés like the "dewy" grass or the babbling brooks etc. Which isn't their fault but I have to overcome an aversion to that stuff, it feels affected and I have to squint so to speak to feel the emotion behind it.

All of this mainly applies to the blank verse stuff, whereas in the Ancient Mariner e.g. the archaic stuff fits in fine
 

Benny B

Well-known member
This bit:

Only that film, which fluttered on the grate,

Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.
Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature
Gives it dim sympathies with me who live,
Making it a companionable form,
Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling Spirit
By its own moods interprets, every where
Echo or mirror seeking of itself,
And makes a toy of Thought.
That bit about the film of ash in the grate is what links it to the Prynne I posted, musing at the fireside
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I could be wrong here but I think being a bit sentimental about children was something of a 19th C. invention, after Rousseau.

Also some of the language, again, registers as cloying, when the sentiment (love for your child, hopes for their future) isn't.
 

Benny B

Well-known member
You could say the same about Blake but he was rad as fuck, seems really lazy to just reduce all this stuff down to being 'sentimental' just cos it's writing about childhood and parenthood.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I wasn't angry - I get what you're saying. What I found impressive about that poem is the way his imagination travels from the fluttering film to the memories of school and then back around to the moon at the end. It's a stream of consciousness, or an argument disguised as one. Like Tintern Abbey.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
WW's sonnets also great. This one is from 1820. Sentimental maybe, in its own way, but I find the sentiment moving.

Sonnets from The River Duddon: After-Thought​

BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

I thought of Thee, my partner and my guide,
As being past away.—Vain sympathies!
For, backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes,
I see what was, and is, and will abide;
Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide;
The Form remains, the Function never dies;
While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise,
We Men, who in our morn of youth defied
The elements, must vanish;—be it so!
Enough, if something from our hands have power
To live, and act, and serve the future hour;
And if, as toward the silent tomb we go,
Through love, through hope, and faith's transcendent dower,
We feel that we are greater than we know
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Can't say I understand all that much about prosody but I've noticed with Wordsworth that the metre seems to enable him to put things very eloquently, beautifully and unforgettably.

feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps,
As may have had no trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life;
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love.
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
I'm very susceptible to sentimentality, in fact I don't think I could live without it

But I do find that with the poem we talked about earlier with the old man, when WW takes those last six lines away (perhaps for political reasons) the poem becomes a sentimental idealisation of the old man, whereas fully intact it's about the poet's sentiment (or his idealisation) being abruptly punctured by the simple revelation of the truth.

So maybe the duddon poem (from later in his life) is representative in some way of WW turning his back on the harsh realities found even at the heart of his rural paradise -- but still, the idea that "we may be greater than we know" resonates profoundly
 

jenks

thread death
I could be wrong here but I think being a bit sentimental about children was something of a 19th C. invention, after Rousseau.

Also some of the language, again, registers as cloying, when the sentiment (love for your child, hopes for their future) isn't.
The whole romanticism movement is fascinated by children/childhood - rather than mini adults childhood acquires its own state. The argument about whether we are blank slates or vessels to be filled with knowledge. Also WW and his ‘child is father of the man’ and that growing up is growing towards the shade of the prison gate. For Coleridge the child has this potential to grow up with this new of being, that he doesn’t have to go through what Coleridge has gone through. Nature will be his school mistress. To us, in our kid centred world, none of it may seem radical but it sure as fuck was back then.
 

luka

Well-known member
It's good to stand up to woops don't let him browbeat you. Only mediocre poets are no uneven. Anyone any good will be uneven.
 

luka

Well-known member
Have you read "Michael" @luka ? A very moving story of a shepherd and his son, Luke.

Most beautiful line that stood out to me last night:

"... he had been alone
Amid the heart of many thousand mists,
That came to him, and left him, on the heights."

The way the story begins reminds me a little of Hadjit Murad by Tolstoy.
No, having a look at it now. It's not poetry but he's nailed the twinkly eyed old codger sitting by the fireside and telling a (boring) story thing though.
 

luka

Well-known member
The way old men (and Idle Rich) delight in torturing you by drawing a story out interminably.
 
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