Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Prelude - In Our Time

The poet William Wordsworth is one of the most influential of English poets in the romantic age, mostly mentioned together with Coleridge. BBC's In Our Time discusses Wordsworth, developing the dialog to what is considered the poet's masterpiece: the poem The Prelude. A work the poet continued to revise throughout his life and which was only published afterwards.

By then Romanticism had developed such, the poem was less influential than it could have been. Or such is claimed by Bragg's guests and I wonder why it is still considered Wordsworth's greatest work. From the guests in the studio nothing but acclaim - also from host Melvyn Bragg, who is, after all a writer and shows a certain level of identification with the subject of the show, he doesn't have normally.

Fortunately there is enough recitation to let Wordsworth speak for himself a bit. It is also analyzed what it was in his work that made him so influential. In the end, it is argued he was the better poet between him and Coleridge and Coleridge is claimed to have known it. But Wordsworth adored Coleridge and The Prelude, was known also, even before publication it was known somewhat, as the poem 'to Coleridge'.
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