Lyrical Ballads
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Lyrical Ballads

3.92 of 5 stars 3.92  ·  rating details  ·  6,366 ratings  ·  94 reviews
The majority of the following poems are to be considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purposes of poetic pleasure - William Wordsworth, from the Advertisment prefacing the original 1798 edition. When it was first published, Lyrical Ballads...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published January 30th 2007 by Penguin Classics (first published 1798)
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The copy of this that I have, and have just finished reading, is a reprint of the first edition of 1798. It has no notes, other than those presented by the authors themselves, and the book probably suffers for this. I probably should have gotten hold of a version that had a good introduction – but too late now.

There are two poems in this collection that I have read before – The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere and Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey. There is a reason why these are the mos...more
Mark Bratkowski
I've always shied away from reading poetry anthologies. Since this was a required text for my master's exam, I had no choice. I saved it for last, because I honestly wasn't sure if I would have the mental durability to get through it. Much to my surprise, I found most of the poems to be easily accessible, albeit, I took many notes to help me keep track of the narrative structure. All the poems have a rustic, backwoods, working class quality to them. Moreover, they celebrate the joys and power o...more
Mary Ronan Drew
Jan 30, 2011 Mary Ronan Drew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mary Ronan by: Laurel
Shelves: library-book
Published in 1798, this collection of short poems is more notable for the "advertisement" - a sort of short introduction - and for the preface to the 1802 edition than for the poetry itself. In the introduction, Wordsworth wrote: "The majority of the following poems are to be considered as experiments. They were written chiefly with a view to ascertain how far the language of conversation in the middle and lower classes of society is adapted to the purposes of poetic pleasure."

The 21st century r...more
If I continued with my theme of replacing books of the bible with works of poetry instead, I would use mostly Wadsworth to replace Proverbs. Many of these poems are cautionary tales encouraging kindness and empathy, and the rest are extolling the virtues of nature. No, going out into nature isn’t one of the commandments, but it should have been, I think we would all be better for it. Wadsworth encourages “nature baths,” a spiritual bathing in nature to cleanse the soul of the stresses of urban l...more
The great treat in this book is the earliest version of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner"-- without glosses, but with some amazing passages that Wordsworth later persuaded Coleridge to delete. Coleridge still comes out way ahead of Wordsworth for me, but I am finally starting to get it about Wordsworth, a poet I have always rather disliked.
Bilal Awan
The enormity of the shit that Wordsworth managed to churn out with stunning consistency in Lyrical Ballads is staggering. Wordsworth's 'connection' with nature which seems to supersede any form of rational thinking, is typified in the poems Expostulation and Reply and Tables Turned. In Expostulation and Reply Wordsworth exults going out and sitting in nature over reading, one wonders whether Wordsworth would rather his readers throw his book away in favour of sitting outside for a bit. Probably...more
Ann Klefstad
Of course these are wonderful. If only he'd died a little younger, like a good lyric poet . . .
Alexandra Middleton
Well, if this experience taught me one thing, it's that Wordsworth's pastoral poetry sucks. Don't get me wrong, some of the poems were brilliant. Coleridge's Rime of the Ancient Mariner was gothic and spooky and a really enjoyable narrative. I also enjoyed We Are Seven and The Thorn, but I need my poetry with more of a plot and less rambling about nature with no apparent deeper meaning. I read this for a summer school at Cambridge which starts tomorrow, so hopefully we'll go into more detail the...more
As my interest in 19th century literature, especially the Romantics, has increased, I thought I should turn to one of the foundational works of Romantic movement. Wordsworth and Coleridge’s Lyrical Ballads sets the stage for a tactile and euphoric literature that embraced the world around it. It eschewed some of the loftier and abstract subjects of poetry and focused on the land and the people close to it. The edition I read includes both the original 1798 volume and the expanded, two-volume 180...more
Robbie Clipper Sethi
In north of England along with A. S. Byatt's Unruly Times Wordsworth and Coleridge in their Time, I also read Wordsworth and Coleridge’s collaboration, Lyrical Ballads. I never cared much for ballads unless they were sung (in my time preferably by Sandy Denny and/or Richard Thompson of Fairport Convention). But rereading Wordsworth in my fifties is sweet. I never much got it at twenty when it was part of a curriculum. The last poem, “Lines Written Above Tintern Abbey” is my favorite, so profound...more
David Powell
Here's the deal. I love the English Romantic Period, and I love Wordsworth. But like some of my past love affairs in which I was always able to find a flaw in my beloved and still manage to overlook it, I know that Wordsworth is flawed, but "my heart still leaps up" with his poetry. The flaws? Well he was egocentric it seems; he was best in his earlier works; and he unabashedly loved nature. As to the last flaw, who doesn't, but, like the some of his American romantic contemporaries, he overlook...more
Nicholas Seders
I picked this up after reading "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" - which I thoroughly enjoyed, and still consider my favorite poem in the collection. This book is truly a classic poetry publication and is well worth reading for that very reason. There are a number of excellent pieces in Lyrical Ballads, including "The Female Vagrant," "Lines Written a Small Distance From My House," "Anecdote for Fathers," "The Idiot Boy," "Expostulation and Reply," and "The Tables Turned."
I absolutely loved Coleridge's poems in this collection but Wordsworths were not all that good to me. I love the romantic poets, their work is amazing.... Keats, Shelley, Byron and I think Coleridge actually deserved to have more space in their collaborative collection but, Alas! WOrdsworth was a selfish old goat who even told Keats that his (superior) poetry was rubbish. Wordsworth struggled being overshadowed and the believed himself above all other poets when in fact, I found Coleridge's Rime...more
Mike Lemon
Oh Wordsworth,
How you and I have battled through these years. Ever since that fateful trip to a Daffodil farm in seventh grade have I stuggled to understand your Romanticism. Even now, as I review your first book Lyrical Ballads, I must admit I entered with hesitation. I found some of your poems to be bemusing; I especially enjoyed "Lines Written at a Small Distance From My House." I know the importance of viewing nature, in (how did you describe it?) idleness.
Your writings, Wordsworth, are mas...more
Lyrical Ballads<\u> was a revolutionary book. This edition is an excellent study edition, but not a great reading edition because on some of the more famous poems, like "Tintern Abbey," the text of the poem gets buried in the footnotes. But the scholarly introduction is very solid and the notes are all authoritative. Any serious student of Wordsworth and Coleridge will want to look at it,
Ahmet Uçar
not in its entirety, but i have read portions of it while i was studying English literature. Coleridge is profounder a man, yet he was under the umbra of Wordsworth's prolific writing.
I've read the original 1798 Lyrical Ballads in the past and this time I wanted to read the 1802 version with the additional poems. At the time of their publishing, these poems were revolutionary in the language and subject matter. Two-hundred-plus-years later, they seem a bit quaint -- melodramatic and a bit maudlin. I'm not even sure if I like Wordsworth's poetry. There's nothing in the 1802 version to match Tintern Abbey except perhaps the "Lucy" poems.

Overall, if you enjoy poetry, this is a...more
Lyrical Ballads was another friend of mine in college- a poetic "experiment" by two "elegantly wasted" gentlemen.
J. Alfred
I was a little bit disappointed with "The Female Vagrant" which was a little long, and to my mind, not great. The rest of the poems range from good to amazing, however, and Wordsworth absolutely knocks it out of the park with "Lines Written... Above Tintern Abbey." I love this poem more and more every single time I read it. I was getting a little watery-eyed in public this past time. Oh, just so so good. Coleridge's "Ancient Mariner" is always worth another look as well, especially without the m...more
Sep 12, 2014 Heidi added it
Portions of this; amazing.
This book is a great read!
Sashi Bankova
While we studied Wordsworth and Coleridge at the University I deeply hated their works. Every time I had to analyze some piece of writing I was at a loss, but after we were through with the Romaticism classes I found a copy of the Lyrical Ballads translated in Bulgarian by a student in my University who has recently graduated (or I think so) and edited by my professor. Therefore, I thought it would give me another perspective of the Lyrical Ballads. Needless to say, I loved it :)
Rachel Brand
Read for:
EN1004: Explorers and Revolutionaries - Literature 1680-1830

I can't say I'm a big fan of poetry and I didn't exactly look forward to this semester's reading. So I was pleasantly surprised when I ended up really enjoying Wordsworth and Coleridge. Some of the poems in this book were really beautiful and the footnotes and appendixes in this edition were particularly useful. Although the Penguin version may be cheaper, I'd recommend this edition if you're a student. 7/10
An excellent edition of a wonderful poetry collection. This is rather like the Norton edition, only it's all contemporary contexts and not modern criticism (except for the introductions to each section by the editors). The editors have very definite opinions on how Lyrical Ballads fit into the history of literature, and they present materials to bolster their case. Very interesting selections, and, except for a few unnecessary jabs at M.H. Abrams, an excellent book.
Martin Davies
This is not the best, the mature Wordsworth, in fact, it is the juvenile and much less complex and refined one. However, this collaboration with Coleridge (though the great majority of the poems is Wordsworth's as Coleridge's addiction prevented him from writing regularly) marks the beginning (or the explosion onto the literary scene if we count Blake) of Romanticism in Britain and is a must read.
Wordsworth was an absolutely abysmal person and yet, a great poet. All's well that ends well, I suppose.
Gabriel Oak
"Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "Tintern Abbey," what's not to like?
The poems in this collection were revolutionary when originally published in 1798, the closest thing the Georgian era had to punk. Most of the work is Wordsworth's, but the collection also contains Coleridge's brilliant mini-epic "Rime of the Ancient Mariner", one of my favourite poems. For this edition both the standard revision done for the 1800 edition and its original 1798 version are included.
I know this is a bit of a poncey-English-student choice but I have grown to love this collection. When I first started studying it for my A-levels, I hated it, but once I started to understand the innovation behind it, the poems began to take on new meaning and are not only beautiful but also surprisingly relevant. If you think Wordsworth is all about Daffodils (I hate that poem), then think again!
Steven Tyra
Aug 28, 2007 Steven Tyra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everybody with any taste in poetry.
This is a good selection of Wordsworth's contribution to the famed Lyrical Ballads. The only poem Coleridge contributed of any note is the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner," which you can often find published as its own volume, meaning that this collection of Wordsworth's ballads really represents the heart of the original work. If you have taste and do not wish to be illiterate, this is a must read.
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William Wordsworth was a major English romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped launch the Romantic Age in English literature with their 1798 joint publication, Lyrical Ballads.

Wordsworth's masterpiece is generally considered to be The Prelude, an autobiographical poem of his early years which the poet revised and expanded a number of times. The work was posthumously titled and publ...more
More about William Wordsworth...
The Major Works The Prelude The Works of William Wordsworth (Wordsworth Collection) Selected Poetry of William Wordsworth Ode: Intimations Of Immortality From Recollections Of Early Childhood

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“The best portion of a good man's life: his little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and love.” 2651 likes
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