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Word Count: 2,125
On Wordsworths Lucy Tadeush Novak I must begin this short essay by outlining the main points of the debate about the Lucy Poems Wordsworth composed three of them late in 1798 and published them one after the other each of them untitled in the 1800 1802 and 1805 Lyrical Ballads these were Strange fits of passion I have known She dwelt among thuntrodden ways and A slumber did my spirit seal They are all concerned with love and grief the first two of them use the name Lucy They are set apart from the titled poem Lucy Gray which has to do with the death of a child and not a grown woman and also from the untitled Three years she grew which reflects upon the death of a beloved young woman named Lucy In 1802 Wordsworth tried to add another untitled poem that names Lucy I travelled among unknown men to follow A slumber but the printer let him down In the 1815 Poems he kept the first two poems together and added I travelled to the set but printed Three years and A slumber in a different section Some of Wordsworths contemporaries referred to the poems about a grown Lucy--four or five depending on whether you count A slumber--as a group and Victorian editors reinforced this way of thinking by printing them all together as a series although Wordsworth himself had never done so Some readers argued for the inclusion of other poems such as She was a phantom of delight and Among all lovely things my love had been another naming Lucy also known under the title The Glow-Worm The critical establishment amused itself with biographical speculation and source-hunting until 1965 when Hugh Sykes-Davies blew the whole thing apart by showing that the supposed Lucy cycle was a fiction made up by editors anthologizers and parodists In his excellent recent book The Lucy Poems A Case Study in Literary Knowledge Mark Jones
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