Why Words Reject Poetry: A Look at the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads

The preface to the Lyrical Ballads contains Wordsworth’s thoughts on poetry and what he believes it should be, compared to the poetry written at the time of its publication. Many poets, including Wordsworth, have rejected poetry due to these thoughts on poetry in the preface. However, there are some grounds on which these words reject poetry, and they can be discussed with reference to the preface to the Lyrical Ballads itself.

Comparing Wordsworth’s Lyrical Ballads

In his preface to the Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth discusses how he believes that words have been rejected by poetry. He states that this is due to the overuse of poetic words and phrases, which has led to their meanings being diluted. Wordsworth believes that by using simpler words, poetry can regain its power.

Additionally, he feels that poetry should focus on more common subjects in order to connect with a wider audience. Thus, it was his goal to be able to use language from both the lower and upper classes. As such, he utilized everyday vocabulary and dialects for poems about rural life. Lastly, he wanted poetry’s form to be looser than what had previously been seen in order for it to take on a conversational tone.

Throwing Out the Rules

In the preface to the Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth discusses his reasons for rejecting many of the rules of poetry. He believes that poetry should be about common life and should use language really used by men. He also believes that poems should be short and expressive, rather than long and elaborate.

Wordsworth’s beliefs led him to create a new style of poetry that was more accessible to everyday people. However, critics have criticized him for not following all of the traditions of poetry. For example, he does not use rhyme or meter as much as other poets would have done at the time.

The Great Unknown

In the preface to the Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth discusses his theory that words reject poetry because they are not musical enough. He believes that poetry should be natural and simple, using language that is familiar to everyone. However, words often fail to meet this standard, instead sounding forced and artificial.

As a result, they are rejected by poetry. This may explain why so much great poetry remains unknown; it is simply lost in the vastness of the written word. Furthermore, the preface seems to condemn those who do create complex poems, believing them to be an evil that ought not to exist.

Although some people might agree with him, I disagree with him on many points. For example, he rejects poetic diction and other figures of speech like a metaphor as being unpoetic or unpractical for ordinary people.

An Implicit Agreement

Preface to the Lyrical Ballads
Preface to the Lyrical Ballads

In the preface to the Lyrical Ballads, William Wordsworth discusses an implicit agreement between poets and readers. This agreement is that, in order for poetry to be successful, it must adhere to certain rules and expectations. However, Wordsworth argues that this agreement is actually harmful to poetry, as it stifles creativity and experimentation. He instead advocates for a more organic approach to writing, one that is based on feeling and intuition rather than strict rules.

Words Rejected as Trash

Words are often dismissed or rejected as being nothing more than a means to an end. We use them to communicate our thoughts and feelings, but they are often seen as being powerless compared to other forms of expression, like music or art. However, words have their own kind of power, which is why they are such an important part of poetry.

They can make us laugh, cry, empathize with others, and imagine new worlds. That’s why we need to treat words with respect and be mindful of how we choose them when we write poems.

The Poet’s Role in the society

As the preface to the Lyrical Ballads states, words reject poetry when they are not used in accordance with their proper…office and dignity. In other words, when poets misuse or overuse words, they strip them of their power and meaning. This not only makes for bad poetry, but it also dishonors the language itself. As custodians of words, it is our responsibility to use them skillfully and respectfully if we want to create beautiful poems that sing on the page.

Concluding Thoughts and Quotes

Preface to the Lyrical Ballads
Preface to the Lyrical Ballads

In the preface to the Lyrical Ballads, Wordsworth offers several reasons why words might reject poetry. First, he suggests that poetry is often too complex for words, which are limited in their meanings. Second, he argues that words are often misused in poetry, which can lead to them rejecting the poem altogether.

Finally, Wordsworth believes that some words are simply overused in poetry and have lost their original meaning. Ultimately, these three reasons lead to the rejection of many poems by words.

Also read: preface to the lyrical ballads

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