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Canonical Essays

Classic essays representing the history of the poetical and critical "canon" - these essays are required reading for anyone who is seriously interested in poetry.

  • A Defence Of Poetry  [New!]
    by Percy Bysshe Shelley - 1819
    Poetry, in a general sense, may be defined to be "the expression of the imagination": and poetry is connate with the origin of man. Man is an instrument over which a series of external and internal impressions are driven, like the alternations of an ever - changing wind over an Aeolian lyre...
  • Advertisement To Lyrical Ballads  [New!]
    by William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1798
    It is the honourable characteristic of Poetry that its materials are to be found in every subject which can interest the human mind. The evidence of this fact is to be sought, not in the writings of Critics, but in those of Poets themselves...
  • Preface To Lyrical Ballads: Appendix  [New!]
    by William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1802
    They became proud of a language which they themselves had invented, and which was uttered only by themselves; and, with the spirit of a fraternity, they arrogated it to themselves as their own...
  • Preface To Lyrical Ballads  [New!]
    by William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge - 1802
    It is supposed, that by the act of writing in verse an Author makes a formal engagement that he will gratify certain known habits of association; that he not only thus apprizes the Reader that certain classes of ideas and expressions will be found in his book, but that others will be carefully excluded...

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