DOI link for Wordsworth's Cliff-Hanger
Wordsworth's Cliff-Hanger book
Arnold's distillation of William Wordsworth's 'best work' includes only part of the first book of The Excursion, the story of Margaret, and nothing at all of The Preludeexcept for those few passages that Wordsworth had himself published as short poems. The trend of critical opinion through the twentieth century to the present has, of course, amply vindicated Arnold's belief that 'Wordsworth's name deserves to stand, and will finally stand' next to those of Milton and Shakespeare. The passage as a whole turns on the enactment of an identification between the recollected scene and what is taking place on the plane of enunciatio, the present of narration, is especially clear from the anacoluthon that introduces the cliff-hanging scene itself. Wordsworth cites a passage from King Lear as his second example: 'half way down/ Hangs one who gathers samphire' is the well-known expression delineating an ordinary image upon the cliffs of Dover.