Browning’s reflections on his poetics were throughout his career marked by a tension between his conflicting desires, on the one hand, to produce works in which the reader had to co-operate imaginatively with the poet and, on the other hand, to write accessible poetry which would mediate his ideas and values to a wider audience. As this chapter will argue, he had derived both of these aspirations from Wordsworth, despite distancing himself from other aspects of his poetics. Unlike Wordsworth’s poetry, though, Browning’s difficult style placed such high demands on his readers that it became quite impossible for him to attain his aim of accessibility and thereby enhance his popularity. Aware of the instant appeal of song, the rather prosaic Browning repeatedly considered the possibility of writing lyrical poetry as a way of connecting with the readership. He was also attracted to the authority traditionally associated with the lyric poet, which the Romantics had claimed by casting themselves in the role of the visionary vates. However, he faced the difficulty of having to reconcile this desire to claim authority for his poetry with his reluctance to follow the Romantics in attaching this authority to the figure of the poet, whose absolute perspective he called into doubt.