By David Rosen
The low sign in of our languagea sign up of brief, concrete, local phrases prepared in basic syntaxis deeply implicated during this tale. Rosen indicates how the atypical popularity of plain English” for truthfulness is hired through smooth poets to hide the rift among their (probably irreconcilable) targets for themselves.
With a deep appreciation for poetic accomplishment and an excellent iconoclasm, Rosen sheds new mild at the cutting edge in addition to the self-deceptive points of contemporary poetry. This publication alters our realizing of the background of poetry within the English language.
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Extra resources for Power, Plain English, and the Rise of Modern Poetry
37 38 Wordsworth’s Empirical Imagination This revision of Locke distinguishes Wordsworth from his entire generation: where he accepts Locke’s appraisal of wit and judgment, but radically identifies the work of imagination, of poetry, with the latter, his most influential contemporaries, from Burke to Coleridge and Shelley, simply reverse Locke’s appraisal. 10 It is my opinion, in opposition to many critics, notably Abrams, who would assimilate Wordsworth to his fellow Romantics, that, for the rest of Wordsworth’s so-called great decade, the primary products of imagination remain the perceptions of worldly facts, rendered in language of jarring immediacy and precision.
His own diction is highly Latinate, and his syntax, in conformity to classical models, is often suspended and ornate. Prologue Indeed, in Book III, chapter , on “Particles,” he oﬀers a theoretical defense of hypotaxis. ). The frequent and balanced use of particles, he concludes, is evidence of a complex and subtle mind. He expands on the “art of well speaking”: “It is in the right use of [particles] that more particularly consists the clearness and beauty of a good style. , he gives to each respective part of his discourse.
14 More important, Wordsworth is asserting the superiority of his idiom to that of his predecessors. Equality on that score could not be further from his mind. I am not suggesting that political or social concerns have nothing to do with Wordsworth’s adoption of the low register. However, it might be fruitful to take his reticence on those topics at face value. We know, partly from The Prelude, that he fell victim in to severe depression. This crisis, he says in Books X and XI ( version), was brought on first by the frustration of his hopes in the revolution, and then by his inability to derive any emotional or ethical sustenance from Godwinian rationalism.