Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Power, Plain English, and the Rise of Modern Poetry$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

David Rosen

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780300100716

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300100716.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

Wordsworth's Empirical Imagination

Wordsworth's Empirical Imagination

(p.33) Chapter 2 Wordsworth's Empirical Imagination
Power, Plain English, and the Rise of Modern Poetry

David Rosen

Yale University Press

This chapter examines a passage from “The Empirical Imagination” which marks a watershed in Wordsworth's career. This is the first time that Wordsworth turns to blank verse—his previous works mostly constituting of either couplets or stanzas. Coincidentally, it is also in these lines that we find Wordsworth first use the plain, low register of English. Poems written later by Wordsworth that were influenced by James Thomson—such as “An Evening Walk”—would also draw heavily on plain English in long passages that would focus on giving a picturesque description. This chapter thus explores the means through which Wordsworth both began to discover and make use of plain English, and what possibly prompted this mode. Furthermore, it also explores Wordsworth's theory of imagination, a theory that was brought to his attention in his earlier works such as Lyrical Ballads.

Keywords:   The Empirical Imagination, Wordsworth, blank verse, plain English, An Evening Walk, James Thomson, theory of imagination, Lyrical Ballads

Yale Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.