Selections From Wordsworth And Tennyson by Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Baron
|Title||Selections from Wordsworth and Tennyson|
|Author||Alfred Tennyson Tennyson, Baron|
|Language||English, Spanish, and French|
Excerpt: ...seem that Nature not only gave him the matter for his poem, but wrote his poem for him." The set poetic style of The Excursion is a failure, but there is something unique and unmatchable in the simple grace of his narrative poems and lyrics. "Nature herself seems, I say, to take the pen out of his hand, and to write for him with her own bare, sheer, penetrating power. This arises from two causes: from the profound sincereness with which Wordsworth feels his subject, and also from the profoundly sincere and natural character of his subject itself. He can and will treat such a subject with nothing but the most plain, first hand, almost austere naturalness. His expression may often be called bald, as, for instance, in the poem of Resolution and Independence; but it is bald as the bare mountain tops are bald, with a baldness which is full of grandeur. . . Wherever we meet with the successful balance, in Wordsworth, of profound truth of subject with profound truth of execution, he is unique." Professor Dowden has also laid stress upon the harmonious balance of Wordsworth's nature, his different faculties seeming to interpenetrate one another, and yield mutual support. He has likewise called attention to the austere naturalism of which Arnold speaks. "Wordsworth was a great naturalist in literature, but he was also a great Idealist; and between the naturalist and the idealist in Wordsworth no opposition existed: each worked with the other, each served the other. While Scott, by allying romance with reality, saved romantic fiction from the extravagances and follies into which it had fallen, Wordsworth's special work was to open a higher way for naturalism in art by its union with ideal truth." Criticism has long since ceased to ridicule his Betty Foy, and his Harry Gill, whose "teeth, they chatter, chatter still." Such malicious sport proved only too easy for Wordsworth's contemporaries, and still the essential value of his poetry was unimpaired. The...