The University of Toronto at Scarborough

ENGB02Y: English Literature: Historical Survey (Spring Term)

Instructor: Melba Cuddy-Keane

"Steamboats, Viaducts, and Railways"

This poem reminds us not to simplify Wordsworth's writing. Not all Romanticism is antagonistic to technology. Here you have a sonnet to industrial works, a hymn to the steam-engine and new ways of travel and transportation. The surprise in this poem lies in the way it connects material objects that you expect to be treated as "mechanical" with such ideas as "soul," "vision," and "sublime." What makes the industrial age in this poem exciting and promising?

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