The Romantic Period


  • The Norton Anthology of English Literature, Vol. 2

William Wordsworth: Introductory remarks (pages 243-245)
“We Are Seven” (pages 248-249)”Lines Written in Early Spring” (page 250)”Lines: Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey” (pages 258-262)From “Preface to Lyrical Ballads” (pages 262-274)”Strange fits of passion have I known” (pages 274-275)”I wandered lonely as a cloud” (pages 305-306)”The Solitary Reaper” (pages 314-315)”Mutability” (page 320) Dorothy Wordsworth:
From The Grasmere Journals (pages 392-402)”Grasmere—A Fragment” (pages 402-404)”Thoughts on My Sick-Bed” (pages 404-405) Samuel Taylor Coleridge: “The Eolian Harp” (pages 426-428)
“The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” (pages 430-446)”Frost at Midnight” (pages 464-466)”To William Wordsworth” (pages 471-473)From Biographia Literaria: “On Fancy and Imagination” (pages 476-477)”Rustic Life” (pages 483-484)

  • Wordsworth is known as “the high priest of Nature,” but he was not only interested in nature. When reading his poetry, what other things do you find that he is interested in?
  • In his “Preface to Lyrical Ballads,” how does Wordsworth define poetry? In what ways do you see these ideas in his own poems?
  • What examples of personification are evident in Wordsworth’s poem, “I wandered lonely as a cloud”?
  • Why does the child in “We Are Seven” contradict the speaker about the number of children in her family?
  • In the poem “Lines: Composed a Few Miles above Tintern Abbey,” why has the world become “unintelligible” to the speaker (see line 40)? What has happened to him over time?
  • Coleridge discusses the past, present, and future in “Frost at Midnight.” What are his wishes for his infant child?
  • “Frost at Midnight” is generally considered a “conversational poem,” or a poem that has a light, informal tone despite its serious subject. What makes this poem a good example of this genre? (That is, what subjects does Coleridge talk about, and how does he address them?