Sunday, June 22, 2008

Wordsworth & Coleridge: Lyrical Ballads

Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge (New Riverside Editions, 2002)


I've almost certainly read all the poems in the 1798 Lyrical Ballads, some of them many times indeed, but this is the first time I've read them straight thru in the order of their first, anonymous collection, as presented in this handy New Riverside Edition edited by William Richey & Daniel Robinson (it also includes about 300 pages of background materials & contemporary critical reactions). I think I'll be using this book for an "Introduction to Literary Studies" course this fall, so expect ongoing comments on the editing, its strengths & shortcomings. For the nonce, however, I get a "Tintern Abbey"-like sensation of pleasurable homecoming at returning to these poems. Consider me a wholly uncloseted Wordsworth fan, as much for the (mawkish?) ballads as for the personal, pseudo-philosophical blank verse things.

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