Passion Is a Perk—Not a Prerequisite

Passion is a perk.

Loren Eaton

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When William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge published their little book of verse entitled Lyrical Ballads in 1798, they revolutionized poetry in particular and literature as a whole. How? Exalted diction, highbrow subjects, stolid structures—all of these they whisked away like dust before a broom. In their place, Wordsworth and Coleridge put forward irregularly styled poems penned in everyday language that mostly focused on nature. It was common stuff that common folks could enjoy.

What’s more, Wordsworth also argued in the introduction to Lyrical Ballads that poetry should “follow the fluxes and refluxes of the mind when agitated by the great and simple affections of our nature.” And that meant that he believed verse ought to flow from out passions. It should be “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings.”

So what, right?…

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