Preface to Lyrical Ballads

I have said that Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity: the emotion is contemplated till by a species of reaction the tranquillity gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was before the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind. In this mood successful composition generally begins, and in a mood…

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The Time of Dead Grandmothers

My partner once worked at a college in South Carolina. Her chair was from the Northeast, and when she had first arrived on campus, she was very concerned about fitting into the Southern culture of politeness and manners. When the first student came to her to explain that her grandmother had died, and that she could not make the midterm because of the funeral, this professor contacted the student affairs…