I. William Blake
1.一般识记： His life
English poet， artist， & philosopher， born in London England， Nov 28， 1757， and died in London， Aug 12，1827. Blake made distinguished contributions to both Literature & art. He ranks with great poets in the English language & may be considered the earliest of the major English Romantic poets. His poems range from lyrics of childlike simplicity to mystical or prophetic works of great complexity. As an artist he is best known for his engravings， which are among the masterpieces of graphic art.
2. 识记 His political， religious & literary views
Blake never tried to fit into the world； he was a rebel innocently & completely all his life. He was politically of the permanent left & mixed a good deal with the radicals like Thomas Paine& William Godwin. Like Shelley， Blake strongly criticized the capitalists'' cruel exploitation， saying that the "dark satanic mills left men unemployed， killed children & forced prostitution." Meanwhile he cherished great expectations & enthusiasm for the French Revolution， & regarded it as a necessary stage leading to the millennium predicted by the biblical prophets. Literarily Blake was the first important Romantic poet， showing contempt for the rule of reason， opposing the classical tradition of the 18th century & treasuring the individual''s imagination.
3. 领会 His poems
（1） Early works
The Songs of Innocence （1809） is a lovely volume of poems， presenting a happy & innocent world， though not without its evils & sufferings. For instance， " Holy Thursday" with its vision of charity children lit " with a radiance all their own" reminds us terribly of a world of loss & institutional cruelty. The wretched child described in " The Chimney Sweeper，" orphaned， exploited， yet touched by visionary rapture， evokes unbearable poignancy when he finally puts his trust in the order of the universe as he knows it. His Songs of Experience （1794） paints a different world， a world of misery， poverty， disease， war & repression with a melancholy tone. The benighted England becomes the world of the dark wood & of the weeping prophet. The orphans of " Holy Thursday" are now "fed with cold & usurious hand." The little chimneysweeper sings "notes of woe" while his parents go to church & praise "God & his Priest & King"——the very instruments of their repression. In "London"， the city is no longer a paradise， but becomes the seat of poverty & despair， of man alienated from his true self. Blake''s Marriageof Heaven & Hell （1790） marks his entry into maturity. The poem was composed during the climax of the French Revolution & it plays the double role both as a satire & a revolutionary prophecy. In this poem， Blake explores the relationship of the contraries. Attraction & repulsion， reason & energy， love & hate， are necessary to human existence. Life is a continual conflict of give & take， a pairing of opposites， of good & evil， of innocence & experience， of body & soul. "Without contraries，" Blake states， "there is no progression." The "marriage，" to Blake， means the reconciliation of the contraries， not the subordination of the one to the other.
（2） Later works
In his later period， Blake wrote quite a few prophetic books， which reveal him as the prophet of universal political & spiritual freedom and show the poet himself as the spokesman of revolt. The major ones are： The Book of Urizen（1794），The Book of Los（1795）。The Four Zoas （1796-1807） & Milton （1804-1920）。
4.领会 Characteristics of Blake''s poems
Blake who lived in the blaze of revelation， felt bound to declare that " I know that This world is a world of IMAGINATION & Vision，" & that "The Nature of my work is visionary or imaginative."
From childhood， Blake had a strongly visual mind； whatever he imagined， he also saw. As an imaginative poet， he presents his view in visual images instead of abstract terms.
Blake writes his poems in plain & direct language. His poems often carry the lyric beauty with immense compression of meaning. He distrusts the abstractness & tends to embody his views with visual images. Symbolism in wide range is also a distinctive feature of his poetry.
5. 应用 Select Readings：
1） The Chimney Sweeper （from Songs of Innocence）
Songs of Innocence is a lovely volume of poems， presenting a happy & innocent world， though not without its evils & sufferings. In this volume， Blake， with his eager quest for new poetics forms & techniques， broke completely with the traditions of the 18th century. He experimented in meter & rhymes & introduced bold metrical innovations which could not be found in the poetry of his contemporaries.
In the 18th century， small boys sometimes no more than 4 or 5 years old， were employed to climb up the narrow chimney flues & clean them， collecting the soot in bags. Such boys， sometimes sold to the master sweepers by their parents were miserably treated by their master & often suffered disease & physical deformity.
This poem， in fact， is a protest against the harm that society does to its children by exploiting them for labor of this kind， The poem was written in the child''s-eye point of view， & the dramatic irony （what the speaker says in the poem is different from what the poet means） arises from the poet''s knowing more or seeing more than the child does.
2） The Chimney Sweeper （from songs of Experience）
Songs of Experience paints a different world， a world of misery， poverty， disease， war & repression with a melancholy tone， The benighted England becomes the world of dark wood & of the weeping prophet. The poem selected here reveals the true nature of religion which helps bring misery to the poor children. The poem also reveals the relation between are economic circumstance， i.e. the exploitation of child labor & an ideological circumstance， i.e. the role played by religion in making people compliant to exploitation.
3） The Tyger
The Tyger， included in Songs of Experience， is one of Blake''s best-known poems. It seemingly praises the great power of tiger， but what the tiger symbolizes remains disputable： the power of man？ Or the revolutionary force？ Or the evil？ Or as it is usually interpreted， the Almighty Maker who created both the meek & gentle lamb & the terrible & awesome tiger？ The poem is highly symbolic with a touch of mysticism & it is open to various interpretations. The poem contains six quatrains in rhyming couplets & its language is terse & forceful with an anvil rhythm.
II. William Wordsworth
1.一般识记：His life & career
William Wordsworth （1770-1850） was born at Cockermouth， Cambarland， in the family of an attorney. He received education at St. John''s College， Cambridge. He developed a keen love of nature as a youth. Another important influence on his life was the French Revolution. In 1798 Wordsworth & Coleridge collaborated on a book of poems entitled Lyrical Ballads Robert Southey， Samuel Taylor Colerdge & William Wordsworth are known as the "Lake Poets." In 1842， Wordsworth received a government pension & in the following year he succeeded Southey as Poet Laureate. Wordsworth died at Rydal Mount， April 23， 1850.
As a great Romantic poet， Wordsworth had a long poetic career. His Lyrical Ballads， written together with Coleridge， is generally regarded as the symbol of the beginning of the Romantic period in England. The Prelude is ranked by many critics as his greatest work. In 1807 Poems in Two Volumes was published. The Excursion was published in 1814.
2. 识记：His poetic outlook
Wordsworth is regarded as a " worshipper of nature." He can penetrate to the heart of things & give the reader the very life of nature. "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" is perhaps the most anthologized poem in English literature， & one that takes us to the core of Wordsworth''s poetic beliefs. To Wordsworth， nature embodies， human beings in their diverse circumstances. It is nature that gives him "strength & knowledge full of peace."
Common life is Wordsworth''s only subject of literary interest. The joys & sorrows of the common people are his themes. His sympathy always goes to the suffering poor.
Wordsworth is a poet in memory of the past. To him， life is a cyclical journey. Its beginning finally turns out to be its end. Wordsworth''s deliberate simplicity & refusal to decorate the truth of experience produced a kind of pure & profound poetry which no other poets has ever equaled. Poetry， he believes originates from "emotion recollected in tranquility." Rejecting the contemporary emphasis on form & intellectual approach that drained poetic writing of strong emotion， he maintains that the scenes & events of everyday life & the speech of ordinary people are the raw material of which poetry can & should be made.
3. 领会His poetical works
Lyrical Ballads differs in marked ways from his early poetry， notably the uncompromising simplicity of much of the language， the strong sympathy not merely with the poor in general but with particular， dramatized examples of them， & the fusion of natural description with expressions of inward states of mind. The poems Wordsworth added to the 1800 edition of the Lyrical Ballads are among the best of his achievements.
"Tintern Abbey" remains a profoundly original & imaginative achievement； the valley of the Wye itself， the quiet center of the returning wanderer''s thoughts is described with a detail that conveys a sense of natural order at once vivid & eternal. Beyond the pleasures of the picturesque with their emphasis on the eye & the external aspects of nature， however， lies a deeper moral awareness， a sense of completeness in multiplicity. But the poem progresses beyond such moral reflections. As he is aware of his own sublime communion with all things， nature becomes an inspiring force of rapture， a power that reveals the workings of the soul. To Wordsworth， nature acts as a substitute for imaginative & intellectual engagement with the development of embodied human beings in their diverse circumstances. It''s nature that gives him "strength & knowledge full of peace."
2） The Prelude
Wordsworth is a poet in memory of the past. To him， life is a cyclical journey. Its beginning finally turns out to be its end. His philosophy of life is presented in his masterpiece The Prelude. It opens with a literal journey whose goal is to return to the vale of Grasmere. The journey goes through the poet''s personal history， carrying the metaphorical meaning of his interior journey & questing for his lost early self & the proper spiritual home. The poem charts this growth from infancy to manhood. We are shown the development of human consciousness under the sway of an imagination united to the grandeur go nature. Later books of The Prelude describe Wordsworth''s experiences in France， his republicanism， his affair with Annette Vallon， his "substantial dread" during the Terror & his continuing support of the ideals underlying the Revolution. The concluding description of the ascent of Snowdon becomes a symbol of the poet''s climb to the height of his inspired powers & to that state of vision in which， dedicating himself to humanity， he becomes one of the " Prophets of Nature."
4.领会 Characteristics of Wordsworth Poems & His Achievements.
William Wordsworth is the leading figure of the English romantic poetry， the focal poetic voice of the period. His is a voice of searchingly comprehensive humanity & one that inspires his audience to see the world freshly， sympathetically & naturally. The most important contribution he has made is that he has not only started the modern poetry， the poetry of the growing inner self， but also changed the course of English poetry by using ordinary speech of the language & by advocating a return to nature.
5. 应用：Selected Readings
1） I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud
Wordsworth is regarded as a "worshipper of nature." He can penetrate to the heart of things & give the reader the very life of nature. "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" is perhaps the most anthologized poem in English literature， & one that takes us to the core of Wordsworth''s poetic beliefs. Wordsworth wrote this beautiful poem of nature after he came across a long belt of gold daffodils tossing & reeling & dancing along the waterside. There is a vivid picture of the daffodils here， mixed with the poet''s philosophical & somewhat mystical thoughts.
The poem consists of four 6-lined stanzas of iambic tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of ababcc in each stanza. The last stanza describes the poet''s recollection in tranquility from which this poem arose. The poet thinks that it is a bliss to recollect the beauty of nature in his mind while he is in solitude
2） Composed upon Westminster Bridge， September 3， 1802
This sonnet， written on the roof of a coach as Wordsworth was on his way to France， was published in Poems in Two Volumes， 1807. The poem presents the speaker''s view of London in the early morning. The speaker is not only profoundly touched by its beauty & tranquility of the morning， but even surprised to realize that London is part of Nature just as much as is his own beloved Lake Country.
Wordsworth is regarded as a " worshipper of nature." Even in this poem， though he is looking at London， he is thinking of home where the sun steeps in his first splendor， valley， rock， or hill."
The poem is written after the pattern of the Italian sonnet. The octave recreates the experience of London at morning， and the sestet enlarges on his reaction to the scene. The rhyme scheme of the poem is abbaabba， cdcdcd.
3） She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways
This is one of the "Lucy poems，" written in 1799. The "Lucy Poems" describe with rare elusive beauty of simple lyricism & haunting rhythm a young country girl living a simple life in a remote village far from the civilized world. They are verses of love & loss which hold within their delicate simplicity a meditation on time & death which rises to universal stature.
4） The Solitary Reaper
Wordsworth thinks that common life is the only subject of literary interest. The joys & sorrows of the common people are his themes.
"The Solitary Reaper" is an example of his literary views. It describes vividly a young peasant girl working alone in the fields & singing as she works. The plot of the little incident is told straightforwardly in stanzas 1， 3， & 4. Stanza 2， with its comparison of the girl''s song to the cuckoo & the nightingale cannot be dismissed as vaguely ornamental comparisons. They are much more than that， & the impression of the girl''s singing on the traveler is heightened through these comparisons.
This poem is an iambic verse. Most of the lines in the poem are octosyllabics. The rhyme-scheme for each stanza is ababccdd.