Words and grammar in verse
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.