The Lucy poems
The Lucy poems are a series of five poems composed by the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth between 1798 and 1801. All but one were first published during 1800 in the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, a collaboration between Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Some scholars speculate that Lucy is based on his sister Dorothy, while others see her as a fictitious or hybrid character.
About The Lucy poems in brief
The Lucy poems are a series of five poems composed by the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth between 1798 and 1801. All but one were first published during 1800 in the second edition of Lyrical Ballads, a collaboration between Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge. In the series, Wordsworth sought to write unaffected English verse infused with abstract ideals of beauty, nature, love, longing and death. The poem was written during a short period while the poet lived in Germany. Although they individually deal with a variety of themes, as a series they focus on the poet’s longing for the company of his friend. Whether Lucy was based on a real woman or was a figment of the poet’s imagination has long been a matter of debate among scholars. Some scholars speculate that Lucy is based on his sister Dorothy, while others see her as a fictitious or hybrid character. Most critics agree that she is essentially a literary device upon whom he could project, meditate and reflect. Wordsworth did not conceive of them as a group, nor did he seek to publish the poems in sequence. Only after his death in 1850 did publishers and critics begin to treat the poems as a fixed group. The poems are generally considered a herald of the Romantic movement in English literature. The book became hugely popular and was published widely; it is considered a milestone in the early English Romantic movement. The poems were Wordsworth’s first major publication and were published in 1800 in a collection of verses each had written separately.
Wordsworth described the works as ‘experimental’ in the prefaces to both the1798 and 1800 editions of LYRical Ballad, and revised the poems significantly—shifting their thematic emphasis—between 1798 to 1799. The two poets had met three years earlier in either late August or September 1795 in Bristol. The meeting laid the foundation for an intense and profoundly creative friendship, based in part on their shared disdain for the artificial diction of the poetry of the era. In 1797, the two lived within walking distance of each other in Somerset, which solidified their friendship. The poet came to believe he could write poetry rivalling that of John Milton. In September 1798, Worderidge, and Dorothy travelled together to Germany to explore the proximate living arrangements, but this proved too expensive for a short time for the budgets for a city too expensive and expensive for them to explore. The pair conceived a plan to settle in Germany with Dorothy, but they lived together in Hamburg for two years in order to acquire a tolerable stock of information in natural science and natural language. In March 1798 Wordsworth wrote to his sister: “His faculties seem to expand every day, he composes with much more facility than he did, as to the mechanism of poetry, and his ideas flow faster than he express them.’” The two friends never planned to collaborate, but moved beyond suggestions and notes for each other to each other.