In addition to their deep and abiding commitment to the practice of verse, Wordsworth and Coleridge were both preoccupied with developing poetic theory. In this chapter I want to discuss their early ideas on poetics, looking closely at two key documents: first, Wordsworth’s Prefaces to the 1800 and 1802 editions of Lyrical Ballads, and then Coleridge’s reply to this, in Biographia Literaria, published in 1817.
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