1811 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

William Wordsworth

Anonymous, in Poetical Register for 1806-07 (1811) 540-41.



The drivelling nonsense of some of Mr. Wordsworth's poems is insufferable, and it is equally insufferable that such nonsense should have been written by a man capable, as he is, of writing well. But Mr. Wordsworth is a System maker. He has formed and out of the way, incomprehensible system of poetry; and on the altar of that system he sacrifices melody, elegance, spirit, and even common sense. Whenever he deviates from his monstrous system he writes like a man of genius.