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William Wordsworth - The Major Works: including The Prelude (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – September 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Potential purchasers should know that Stephen Gill has created a strange volume. Wordsworth lived to be 80, and revised his poetry all his life, leaving a Complete Works divided into thematic categories.
Most editors respect the rule of honoring the author's final intentions, so that a revised version of a poem is "what the author really meant."
Gill tosses that rule overboard, and in fact does exactly the opposite: his stated intent is to reprint the *earliest* version of any given poem. So, for instance, we get "The Ruined Cottage" as a work in itself, not as later incorporated into "The Excursion."
Also, less debatably, Gill arranges the poems in sequence of composition, the better for students to trace WW's development.
Why does Gill look to the earlier works? His explanation is that it goes along with the chronological sequence. Looking at a poem WW wrote in 1801, it does not help if we are reading revisions from 1835 or whenever.
But Gill has a better, unstated reason. LATE WORDSWORTH SUCKS. The man's revisions of his own work are almost never for the better, and the older poet's lack of inspiration is painfully evident.
If you want to give WW a fair shot -- if you want to understand what in his poetry blew people's minds and made him a giant of Romanticism -- then you gotta break the Textual Editing Rules, and you gotta read the poems as WW first wrote them, not as he later revised them.
This, therefore, is the edition to read.
His reliance on Nature comes not from a worship of it, rather from the belief that philosophical and social issues can be found and answered in Nature. This does not contradict modern scientific thought, which relies upon the observation of the natural world through experimentation. It also eliminates the need for a rigid religious structure, because divinity can be found in Nature. Wordsworth teaches us that we learn, and grow, once we accept that we are part of the natural world, and that Nature does not exist to be conquered.
The feeling and emotion is a "natural" reaction, and therefore should not be discounted and inhibited. His poetry is an expression of this. It is not an attack on rational thought--it is a belief that one can learn through observation of the natural universe, not merely the reading of books and "dead forms."
Wordsworth was a master poet and a genius. he is well-worth the time it takes to study him.
His lines are memorable lines and they evoke sensations sweet felt in the heart. He is a poet who brings with him a sense of both the sublime and the simple combined.
There are of course many non- memorable lines and many poems which seem at times to be versified prose. But in the best Wordsworth in the great Wordsworth there is the Literature which makes us Love Life More.
At some point I think each and every reader can be uplifted by this great poetic soul.
THIS edition ROCKS!!!!
I assume everyone reading this review has an opinion about Wordsworth, so I will simply note he is one of my favorite poets. You may disagree. FOOEY on you if you do!!!
Wordsworth is one of the few laudable English Romantic poets who, with Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age with his 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads. "The Prelude," a semiautobiographical poem of his early years is one of his most notable poems. "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" (also known as "Daffodils") is phenomenal.
It is noteworthy that Wordsworth was Britain's Poet Laureate from 1843 until his death in 1850.
This edition is crisp, and worth purchasing if you're looking for a good introduction to the mind and verse of Wordsworth.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
GREAT history on Wordsworth and accomplished in chronologically displaying poetry through his lifetimePublished 9 months ago by kmccarty
live in a grey, coal mining town, without hope and without charm or grace and then clutch the pages of Wordsworth's poetry, don't look back, dont look down and dont stop.Published 20 months ago by will crow
I recommend this collection of important poems of William Wordsworth. The book has been a wonderful vehicle for introducing poetry to my grandchildren.Published on March 4, 2013 by Anita Gooch