Explain Poetry is the spontaneous overflow powerful feelings

Question-1: For all good poetry is the spontaneous overflow powerful feelings.

Question-2: I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotions recollected in tranquility.

This is an extract from Preface to the Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth. Here, the poet and critic defines poetry. Wordsworth regards emotion or feeling as something basic to poetry. He defines poetry as the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings. Poetry evolves from the feelings of the poet.

There is spontaneity in the expression of the feelings. Poetry's source is the feeling in the heart. A poet cannot write under duress. It's when the mood is upon the poet that poetry flows out of his heart in a natural and fluent manner. Deep emotion is the basic condition of poetry. But the emotion or feeling is not for Wordsworth all in all. He also emphasizes the need of thought. Poems to which any value can be attached cannot be produced unless the poet has thought long and deeply. 

Thus the poetic process has four stages for successful composition to take place. They are observation, recollection, contemplation and imaginative excitement. The poet observes certain objects of nature, and this observation express these emotions at the moment, he recollects those emotions later on, in the moments of tranquility.

He contemplates upon them (emotions), and the result of that contemplation is that he is again in a state of emotional excitement These emotions are made into a poem with the help of images of those things in nature which aroused the poet's emotions in the first place.

The expense of poetry cannot be compressed within the scope of a definition. Shelley defined poetry as the expression of the imagination. Dr. Samuel Johnson defined poetry as the art of uniting pleasure with truth by calling imagination to the help of reason.

On the whole, Wordsworth's description of poetry is as acceptable as each of these other definitions separately is. But none of these definitions is all-inclusive or wholly satisfying, because each refers to a certain particular aspect or certain particular aspects of poetry.
Next Post Previous Post
No Comment
Add Comment
comment url