Poet as a man speaking to men
English Literature

Write short note on: Poet as “a man speaking to men” MEG 05

Answer: Poet as “a man speaking to men”

All good poetry is the spontaneous outpouring of strong emotions; however, even though this is true, poems of lasting value have never been produced on a wide range of subjects by anyone other than a man who, in addition to possessing greater than usual “organic sensibility had also thought long and deeply” about the subject matter. In fact, our ideas, which are in fact the general representations of all of our previous emotions, modify and guide our ongoing influxes of emotion, as we find by considering the relationship of these general representatives to one another. The repeating and participation of this act will cause our feelings to become associated with important subjects until, if we are born with a great deal of sensibility, those very habits of mind will be formed that, by following blindly and automatically the impulses of such habits, will describe objects and express sentiments of a nature and in a context that is truly important to men.

In contrast to other forms of expression, poetry does not involve the letting go of emotions and sentiments. In Eliot’s words, “the poet thinks his emotions and feels his ideas,” feelings and thoughts are always in sync with one another. Wordsworth’s personal technique as a poet, in which he allows an emotion or a combination of emotions to settle and develop slowly until they are ready to be delivered, as well as his habit of rewriting his lyrical works, is an example of this concept. The poet’s work, in contrast to the imitative-rationalist aesthetic prevalent in the eighteenth century, is not a lifeless work of art or simple workmanship; rather, it is born of and maintained by a real and honest personal emotion, and it is in this that poetry finds its universal appeal.

Write short note on: Poet as “a man speaking to men”

Wordsworth outlines three key qualities of a poet that he believes are important. First and foremost, he has extraordinary sensitivity, which allows him to not only experience personally what occurs to him, but also to sense directly what may happen to those around him.

Second, a poet is ‘a man speaking to men,’ which means that poetry is not just a kind of self-indulgence, and so the poet is a social person with a duty on his shoulders. A great poet should be able to correct men’s emotions, to provide them with new compositions of sensations, and to make their feelings more rational, pure, and lasting in their expression.

Third, the poet is gifted with extraordinary powers of imagination, which allows him to be influenced by things that are not physically there as if they were. Wordsworth himself had a very powerful imagination, to the point where the beautiful shapes he had previously seen were ever present in his mind’s eye which could be used to elicit the right emotions and mental states.

IGNOU MA English IGNOU MEG Solved Assignment English Literature

Wordsworth considers the poet to be a man who, in addition to possessing a greater than normal organic sensitivity, has also pondered much and profoundly. A competent poet must be able to combine the two characteristics of thinking and emotion in his or her work. Without the other, the first will not function. The poet differs from ordinary individuals not in the type of characteristics he has, but also in the degree to which those qualities are shown.

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