“An Overbalance of Enjoyment”; or, Wordsworth’s Flowers

Dear Tracy,

That poem! That poem and its future-pasts! (I’ll have been to New York City. I’ll have been to Los Angeles. I’ll hardly remember today at all.)

On another poetic note, I’ve been rereading Wordsworth for the course I’m TAing this term. This time around, I found the enormous pressure and privilege he places on poetic practice endearing more than anything else. The poet and “the man” are pretty synonymous throughout the Preface. Apparently, poets are everyday people who are just hyper-sensitive to surrounding stimuli. See? A return to the creative productiveness of sentiment indeed!

Here’s a gem on sympathy (one of my interests these days):

We have no sympathy but what is propagated by pleasure: I would not be misunderstood; but wherever we sympathize with pain it will be found that the sympathy is produced and carried on by subtle combinations with pleasure.


we not only wish to be pleased, but to be pleased in that particular way in which we have been accustomed to be pleased.

And yet another point for the sex-is-knowledge team:

he feels that his knowledge is pleasure; and where he has no pleasure he has no knowledge.

Maybe, then, thoughts have always been my way of being erotic? It’s time to read some more Terry Castle, perhaps.



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