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Wordsworth and the Poetry of What We Are$
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Paul H. Fry

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780300126488

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300126488.001.0001

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The Pastor's Wife and the Wanderer: Spousal Verse or the Mind's Excursive Power

The Pastor's Wife and the Wanderer: Spousal Verse or the Mind's Excursive Power

Chapter:
(p.146) 8 The Pastor's Wife and the Wanderer: Spousal Verse or the Mind's Excursive Power
Source:
Wordsworth and the Poetry of What We Are
Author(s):

Paul H. Fry

Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:10.12987/yale/9780300126488.003.0008

This chapter explores the diminishments of William Wordsworth's verse. Here, it is argued as it has been argued elsewhere that the weakening of Wordsworth's verse in The Excursion is in accordance with his theme of the function of poetry in human self-understanding. The chapter thus goes through the process of trying to bring this view out into the open through a reading of Wordsworth's work. In The Excursion then, the function of poetry remains the same. However, compared to The Prelude, The Excursion mentions a skepticism about the claims and benefits of reflection, promoting religion as long as it fulfills its former claims of visionary power. The chapter then examines the role and the significance of the Wanderer and the Pastor's wife throughout these two poems of Wordsworth.

Keywords:   William Wordsworth, verse, The Excursion, self-understanding, The Prelude, poetry, the Wanderer, Pastor's wife, reflection

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