The poem [“We Are Seven”] also stages the transcription of voice that is poetry, lays it out in front of us so that we might count ourselves as implicated within its iteration. I think this is what Wordsworth wanted to achieve in the writing of poetry, and what led to his instruction to the poet in the Preface to Lyrical Ballads that he descend from his supposed height and “express himself as other men express themselves.” It also suggests that the transcription of these words into poetry, or what might be called the work of figuration, in some strange way neuters the power of the figurative act; at least it sets up the uneasy thought that poetry may be unable to answer the need it speaks and shows. This is equivalent to the demand that poetry reveal or acknowledge its own power; to ask of poetry the source of that power given that the words from which it is made are nothing more than reflections, echoes, transcriptions.
—Peter de Bolla, Art Matters (Harvard Univ. Press, 2001, p. 116)