Summer 1954 • Vol. XVI No. 3 Book ReviewsJuly 1, 1954 |

The Prelude Sans Coleridge

Wordsworth's Prelude: A Study of Its Literary Form by Abbie Findlay Potts. Cornell Univ. Press. $6.00. Professor Potts has entitled her work a study of literary form. It is in fact somewhat more than this since she has made a very careful study of Wordsworth's early reading, skillfully detecting and interpreting the way in which one poet absorbs, echoes or transforms the work of another. She has, however, prefaced her study with an interesting exercise in literary definition, where she looks for the essence or "quiddity" of Wordsworth's masterpiece. Here, Miss Potts wisely reminds us that The Prelude stands alone as a poem, a story, and an argument. Thus it does not very readily submit to the stricter categorizing of a Polonius or, for that matter, to the classifications of Wordsworth himself, if we consider the categories set forth in the Preface of 1815. The Prelude, like that "incomparable cloud" indicated by Hamlet, will tolerate a goodly number of descriptive predicates, no

Already have an account? Login

Join KR for even more to read.

Register for a free account to read five free pieces a month from our current issue and digital archive.
Register for Free and Read This Piece



Or become a subscriber today and get complete, immediate access to our digital archives at every subscription level.

Read More

Subscribe

Your free registration with Kenyon review incudes access to exclusive content, early access to program registration, and more.

Donate

With your support, we’ll continue 
to cultivate talent and publish extraordinary literature from diverse voices around the world.