The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper



Degree Name

English: M.A.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Judith Dorn

Second Advisor

Sarah Green

Third Advisor

Jennifer Senchea

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Lyrical Ballads, secular Romanticism, subject/object paradox, subjective-objectivity, prospect poetry, sublime


The legacy of William Wordsworth’s authorial influence is often minimized when examined in the writing of his second generation contemporaries (Percy Shelley and John Keats). While scholars frequently demonstrate these poets’ shared transcendence of the subject/object paradox, they ultimately fail to credit Wordsworth with the revolutionary moral applicability of secular Romanticism. Instead, academic criticism generally overemphasizes the confounding impact of Wordsworth’s post-Ballads fundamentalism, thereby overlooking the enduring impetus of the young Romantics’ initial call to discipleship in Lyrical Ballads. When closely examining the authors’ poetry and prose, their extensive combination of unique personal experience and inner passion as a means of depicting objective reality can be directly attributed to Wordsworth's observations concerning the universal Truth of reflective and individualized prospects. Thus, the poetic ideals of these young Romantics are based significantly on Wordsworth’s rather revolutionary understanding of prospect poetry, particularly as described in the new travel narrative of Lyrical Ballads. Moreover, Wordsworth's unique perspective serves as the fundamental basis of Shelley and Keats' poetic depictions, rather than a simple source of their inspiration. Through the development of Wordsworth’s secular poetic doctrines, and the second generation discipleship of Shelley and Keats, the metaphysical relationship between object and subject is forever psycho-functionally expanded by the sublime possibilities of morally reformative poetic influence. The subjective-objectivity of Wordsworth’s prospect poetry thereby comes to characterize an important niche in British Romanticism, creating a period-wide legacy for which he will never be forgotten.

“Some of My Own” serves as modern verse tribute to Wordsworth’s ameliorative legacy.