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By P. Campbell

Lyrical Ballads have constantly been wedded to controversy. although the judgments of the periodicals and the resultant authorial response have lengthy considering that been outdated by means of a plethora of scholarly interpretations, the controversy nonetheless specializes in their elusive, paradoxical personality. Are the poems conventional or experimental, a random collocation or an organised series? Patrick Campbell surveys the severe fluctuations of approximately centuries whereas privileging fresh techniques that have sought clean views at the quantity - contextual, formalist and style dependent, psycho-analytic, materialist, maverick.

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360); in fact they are the least lyrical pieces in the volume. Nor are they pictorial, like Cowper's poetry. Eschewing an Augustan tradition in which artistic comparisons and painterly effects were common motifs both in poetry and its criticism, Wordsworth seeks dramatic tension and psychological subtlety via a process of self-revelation which is often unconscious ('We Are Seven' or 'Anecdote for Fathers'). Such a Parrish-like conclusion is convincing enough; less secure is Ryskamp's thesis that the virtues of originality are chiefly encountered in non-balladic pieces such as the expostulatory poems or 'Lines Left ...

40). None the less the sober seekers of influence have not gone away, undeterred by the psycho-pathological pronouncements that what count are 'the half-conscious half-animal terrors and ecstasies, and not the discoveries of the intellect' (Bateson, 1956, p. 40), or by the argument that Coleridge's philosophical dabblings were a monumental irrelevance in distracting him from the inspirational business of writing poetry. For Shawcross it is mere prejudice, easily rebutted, that his 'speculative writings' are 'dearly purchased at the expense of more poetry of the type of ...

80). Even the want of unity which Legouis and others have found in Lyrical Ballads is a reflection of the heterogeneity of the literary fashion, of that 'confused and eddying flood of popular poetry' (we, p. 81) flowing through the five major magazines of the day. For Mayo, Lyrical Ballads faithfully mirrors the preoccupations of fashionable verse nature, the simple life, humanitarianism, sentimental morality; 'for nearly every character, portrait or figure there is some seasoned counterpart in contemporary poetry' (we, p.

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