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

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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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Lyrical Ballads
33
The Real Language of
57
Lyrical Ballads 1798
224
the Goslar Lyrics
260
the Poems of Grasmere
303
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