Blank verse is a literary device defined as un-rhyming verse written in iambic pentameter. In poetry and prose, it has a consistent meter with 10 syllables in each line (pentameter); where, unstressed syllables are followed by stressed ones and five of which are stressed but do not rhyme.
defined by its rhythm of pairing ten syllables for each line into five pairs
A 14-line poem with a variable rhyme scheme originating in Italy
What is the experiment in the Lyrical Ballads?
by using the real language of men, to see how much pleasure a Poet can impart
Why does he object to the "gaudiness and inane phraseology of many modern writers" of his day?
he wants the readers to think for themselves
What is the "principle object" of his poetry?
chuse incidents and situations from common life, and to relate or describe them throughout in a selection of language really used by men and to throw over them a certain coloring of imagination
Why does he object to "gross and violent stimulation"?
because he thinks humans can be excited without it.
What is wrong with Gray's poem that Wordsworth quotes?
there is too much of a distinction between the prose and poetry
What is the true role of the poet?
he is a man speaking to a man, in truth and emotion
What does Wordsworth mean by “a sweet inland murmur”? Note that the answer can be found in the footnote at the bottom of page 193.
the river is not affected by the tides a few miles above Tintern
How does the narrator’s point of view shift between the first and second stanzas? Which is in present tense, and which is a reflection of the past?
In the first stanza, the narrator has returned to Tintern Abbey and is speaking about the beauty of it in present tense. In the second stanza, he is reflecting on the past.
In the second stanza, how has the memory of these scenes affected him in his absence?
The memories have buoyed him up in times of weariness.
Compare the first two stanzas. Which seems to be more powerful to the narrator—the beauty of nature as witnessed in the present, or the memory of it in its absence?
“the breath of this corporeal frame,/And even the motion of our human blood/Almost suspended, we are laid asleep/In body, and become a living soul:”(ll. 44-47) This dramatic reaction occurs as a result of reflecting on the visions of nature in the past.
Notice that stanza three is much shorter than the other stanzas in the poem. This is possible in blank verse, while other poetic forms have fixed stanza lengths. What effect does this short stanza have on the poem?
This short stanza stands out from the rest of the poem. Its short length is mirrored by the dramatic content of the stanza—it is like an emotional outburst, separated from the rest of the poem.
Is stanza three connected to stanza four? How do you know?
No it is not connected. Other stanzas are indented so that they are a continuation of the last line of the previous stanza. However, stanza four is not indented, so it is not a continuation of stanza three.
What shift takes place in the narrator’s attitude and understanding here? How does the narrator signal this shift?
The joy of youthful first-hand experience has been replaced by a deeper, mystical understanding. This shift is signaled by “That time is past,” (l. 84).
Who is the narrator’s “dearest friend” (116)? What influence does she have on how he experiences nature?
He is referring to his sister, Dorothy. Her presence helps him recapture the original, unblemished experiences of his youth. He sees in her eyes his own boyhood. The landscape is more meaningful, and his pleasure is enhanced by her presence with him
What does the speaker mean by "getting and spending"?
earning money and buying things.
Why is the exclamation "Great God!" ironic, considering the content of ll. 10-14?
It's ironic that the speaker calls out to God that he'd rather be a pagan -- a believer in many gods.
What does "suckled in a creed out-worn" mean?
brought up in an an obsolete religion.
Who is the “celebrity” poet that urged Coleridge to publish this poem?
In the first ten lines, what images indicate that this is a dreamland, not reality?
“Caverns measureless” “sunless sea” “incense-bearing tree” etc.
What is the simile in lines 21-22?
The fountain is like “rebounding hail” and “chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail.”
What is contradictory in the description of the pleasure dome, and how do you explain this contradiction?
It is both sunny and icy. Dreams often contain impossibilities and contradictions.
Who is the narrator at the beginning of the poem, and where does this narrator change? Who is the narrator for the rest of the poem?
The first five stanzas have an unknown, omniscient narrator. In stanza six, the mariner becomes the narrator as he tells his story to the wedding guest.
Why does the wedding guest stay and listen to the narrator, despite the fact that he is missing the wedding festivities?
The poem states that the wedding guest “can not chuse but hear.” Something about the mariner’s “glittering” eyes has mesmerized or cast a spell on the wedding guest.
What religious images are associated with the Albatross in ll. 63-80?
it comes as a “Christian soul,” and it participates in “vespers.”
How was the crew’s reaction to the killing of the albatross hypocritical?
They are angry at first, then when the fog and mist cleared, they proclaimed that the mariner was right to kill the bird. They change their minds again later when they get stranded on a windless sea.
Who plays dice, and who wins the ancient mariner? What happens to the mariner as a result of this dice game?
Death and Life-in-Death compete for the mariner, but Life-in-Death wins. As a result, the mariner is forced to witness the death of his entire crew and live out his days in remorse. He is cursed with not being able to die (line 262).
What causes the mariner to be able to pray again?
when he is able to see the beauty in the snakes and bless them, this love allows him to pray again.
How does the mariner choose to whom he will tell his tale?
He instinctively knows as soon as he sees the person’s face to whom he must tell his tale.
What two types of poetry were to be included in Lyrical Ballads
incidents and agents where to be, in part at least, supernatural
interest of the affections by the dramatic truth of such emotions, as would naturally accompany such situations
What is the source of controversy that inspired this chapter?
he wanted to appeal to the romantic supernatural
while Wordsworth wanted to give charm to everyday novelty things
What is the overall purpose of poetry?
brings the whole soul of a man into activity
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