By Linden Peach
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Additional info for British Influence on the Birth of American Literature
Bryant believed poetry should deal with emotions near 'the common track of the human intelligence'. In this way the poet would be certain 'of the sympathy of his own generation and of those who shall come after him'. Wordsworth wrote 'of sympathies in which, without any other discipline than that of our daily life, we are fitted to take delight'. For Wordsworth the poetry was in the way in which objects and sentiments are described in 'connection with each other' so that 'the understanding of the Reader must necessarily be in some degree enlightened, and his affections strengthened and purified'.
Not ruffled fme gentlemen who condescend to write ... ' 21 His enthusiasm might also have been encouraged by Coleridge's Biographia Literaria which Emerson read in 1823. Coleridge met Jeffrey's renowned attack upon Wordsworth's choice of persons. Dissociating himself from the 'mode of argument' of the critics, Coleridge suggested that Wordsworth might himself answer them by asking: 'why with the conception of my character did you make wilful choice of mean or ludicrous associations not furnished by me: ' He points out that Wordsworth opposed to that 'state of association' which emphasises the differences between men, the 'high dignities, which belong to HUMAN NATURE, the sense and the feeling, which may be, and ought to be, found in all ranks'.
Wordsworth's influence upon 'The Gladness of Nature' (1826) is betrayed in Bryant's use of the word 'breathed' which Wordsworth uses for similar purposes in one of the Lyrical Ballads. In Bryant's poem 'gladness breathes from the blossoming ground', while in the Lyrical Ballads there is a sense of joy and 'spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,/Truth breathed by cheerfulness'. In Bryant's poem there is, also, the same kind of rebuke at not responding to the joyfulness of nature which is central to some of Wordsworth's poems, 'The Tables Turned' and the 'Matthew Poems', for example.
British Influence on the Birth of American Literature by Linden Peach