Style pp 105-125 | Cite as

Words and grammar in verse

  • Dennis Freeborn
Part of the Studies in English Language book series (SEL)


The poets William Wordsworth (1770–1850) and Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1835) published a volume of verse in 1798 called Lyrical Ballads. The style of verse which they used (in their different ways) was a deliberate reaction against that which we associate with much of the eighteenth century. Wordsworth wrote a controversial Preface to the ballads in 1800, in which he said,

… the proper diction for poetry in general consists altogether in language taken, with due exceptions, from the mouths of men in real life, a language which actually constitutes the natural conversation of men under the influence of natural feelings.


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© Dennis Freeborn 1996

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  • Dennis Freeborn

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