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Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Coleridge in 1795.
Born 21 October 1772(1772-10-21)
Ottery St. Mary, Devon, England
Died 25 July 1834 (aged 61)
Highgate, England
Occupation Poet, critic, philosopher
Literary movement Romanticism
Spouse(s) Sarah Fricker
Children Sara Coleridge, Berkeley Coleridge, Derwent Coleridge, Hartley Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (English pronunciation: /ˈkəʊlrɪdʒ/) (21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as for his major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. He coined many familiar words and phrases, including the celebrated suspension of disbelief. He was a major influence, via Emerson, on American transcendentalism.

Throughout his adult life, Coleridge suffered from crippling bouts of anxiety and depression (neuralgia); it has been speculated that Coleridge suffered from bipolar disorder, a mental disorder which was unknown during his life.[1] Coleridge chose to treat these episodes with opium, becoming an addict in the process.

Contents

Early life

Coleridge was born on 21 October 1772 in the rural town of Ottery St Mary, Devon, England.[2] Samuel's father, the Reverend John Coleridge, was a well respected vicar of the parish and Head Master of Henry VIII's Free Grammar School at Ottery.[citation needed] He had ten children by his first wife. Samuel was the youngest of three by Reverend Coleridge's second wife.

Of his childhood, Coleridge suggests that he "took no pleasure in boyish sports" but instead read "incessantly" and played by himself.[3] After John Coleridge died in 1781, the then 8-year-old Samuel was sent to Christ's Hospital, a charity school founded in the 16th century in Greyfriars, London, where he remained throughout his childhood, studying and writing poetry. At that school Coleridge became friends with Charles Lamb, a schoolmate, and studied the works of Virgil and William Lisle Bowles.[4] In one of a series of autobiographical letters written to Thomas Poole, Coleridge wrote:

At six years old I remember to have read Belisarius, Robinson Crusoe, and Philip Quarll - and then I found the Arabian Nights' Entertainments - one tale of which (the tale of a man who was compelled to seek for a pure virgin) made so deep an impression on me (I had read it in the evening while my mother was mending stockings) that I was haunted by spectres whenever I was in the dark - and I distinctly remember the anxious and fearful eagerness with which I used to watch the window in which the books lay - and whenever the sun lay upon them, I would seize it, carry it by the wall, and bask, and read.

[citation needed]

However, Coleridge seems to have appreciated his teacher, as he wrote in recollections of his schooldays in Biographia Literaria:

I enjoyed the inestimable advantage of a very sensible, though at the same time, a very severe master...At the same time that we were studying the Greek Tragic Poets, he made us read Shakspeare and Milton as lessons: and they were the lessons too, which required most time and trouble to bring up, so as to escape his censure. I learnt from him, that Poetry, even that of the loftiest, and, seemingly, that of the wildest odes, had a logic of its own, as severe as that of science; and more difficult, because more subtle, more complex, and dependent on more, and more fugitive causes....

In our own English compositions (at least for the last three years of our school education) he showed no mercy to phrase, metaphor, or image, unsupported by a sound sense, or where the same sense might have been conveyed with equal force and dignity in plainer words... In fancy I cn almost hear him now, exclaiming Harp? Harp? Lyre? Pen and ink, boy, you mean! Muse, boy, Muse? your Nurse's daughter, you mean! Pierian spring? Oh aye! the cloister-pump, I suppose! ... Be this as it may, there was one custom of our master's, which I cannot pass over in silence, because I think it ... worthy of imitation. He would often permit our theme exercises, ... to accumulate, till each lad had four or five to be looked over. Then placing the whole number abreast on his desk, he would ask the writer, why this or that sentence might not have found as appropriate a place under this or that other thesis: and if no satisfying answer could be returned, and two faults of the same kind were found in one exercise, the irrevocable verdict followed, the exercise was torn up, and another on the same subject to be produced, in addition to the tasks of the day.

Throughout life, Coleridge idealized his father as pious and innocent, while his relationship with his mother was more problematic.[citation needed] His childhood was characterized by attention seeking, which has been linked to his dependent personality as an adult.[citation needed] He was rarely allowed to return home during the school term, and this distance from his family at such a turbulent time proved emotionally damaging.[citation needed] He later wrote of his loneliness at school in the poem Frost at Midnight: "With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt/Of my sweet birthplace."

From 1791 until 1794, Coleridge attended Jesus College, Cambridge.[5] In 1792, he won the Browne Gold Medal for an ode that he wrote on the slave trade.[6] In December 1793, he left the college and enlisted in the Royal Dragoons using the false name "Silas Tomkyn Comberbache",[7] perhaps because of debt or because the girl that he loved, Mary Evans, had rejected him. Afterwards, he was rumored to have had a bout with severe depression.[citation needed] His brothers arranged for his discharge a few months later under the reason of "insanity" and he was readmitted to Jesus College, though he would never receive a degree from Cambridge.

Pantisocracy and marriage

At the university, he was introduced to political and theological ideas then considered radical, including those of the poet Robert Southey. Coleridge joined Southey in a plan, soon abandoned, to found a utopian commune-like society, called Pantisocracy, in the wilderness of Pennsylvania.

In 1795, the two friends married sisters Sarah and Edith Fricker, but Coleridge's marriage proved unhappy. He grew to detest his wife, whom he only married because of social constraints. He eventually separated from her. Coleridge made plans to establish a journal, The Watchman, which would print every eight days in order to avoid a weekly newspaper tax.[8] The first issue of the short-lived journal was published in March 1796; it ceased publication by May of that year.[9]

The years 1797 and 1798, during which he lived in what is now known as Coleridge Cottage, in Nether Stowey, Somerset, were among the most fruitful of Coleridge's life. In 1795, Coleridge met poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy. (Wordsworth, having visited him and being enchanted by the surroundings, rented Alfoxton Park, a little over three miles [5 km] away.) Besides the Rime of The Ancient Mariner, he composed the symbolic poem Kubla Khan, written—Coleridge himself claimed—as a result of an opium dream, in "a kind of a reverie"; and the first part of the narrative poem Christabel. The writing of Kubla Khan, written about the Asian emperor Kublai Khan, was said to have been interrupted by the arrival of a "Person from Porlock"—an event that has been embellished upon in such varied contexts as science fiction and Nabokov's Lolita. During this period, he also produced his much-praised "conversation" poems This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison, Frost at Midnight, and The Nightingale.

In 1798, Coleridge and Wordsworth published a joint volume of poetry, Lyrical Ballads, which proved to be the starting point for the English romantic movement. Though the productive Wordsworth contributed more poems, Coleridge's first version of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner was the longest poem and drew more immediate attention than anything else in the volume.

In the spring of 1798, Coleridge temporarily took over for Rev. Joshua Toulmin at Taunton's Mary Street Unitarian Chapel[10] while Rev. Toulmin grieved over the drowning death of his daughter Jane. Poetically commenting on Toulmin's strength, Coleridge wrote in a 1798 letter to John Prior Estlin,

I walked into Taunton (eleven miles) and back again, and performed the divine services for Dr. Toulmin. I suppose you must have heard that his daughter, (Jane, on 15 April 1798) in a melancholy derangement, suffered herself to be swallowed up by the tide on the sea-coast between Sidmouth and Bere (sic. Beer). These events cut cruelly into the hearts of old men: but the good Dr. Toulmin bears it like the true practical Christian, - there is indeed a tear in his eye, but that eye is lifted up to the Heavenly Father.[11]

In the autumn of 1798, Coleridge and Wordsworth left for a stay in Germany; Coleridge soon went his own way and spent much of his time in university towns. During this period, he became interested in German philosophy, especially the transcendental idealism of Immanuel Kant, and in the literary criticism of the 18th century dramatist Gotthold Lessing. Coleridge studied German and, after his return to England, translated the dramatic trilogy Wallenstein by the German Classical poet Friedrich Schiller into English.

In 1799, Coleridge and Wordsworth stayed at Thomas Hutchinson's farm on the Tees at Sockburn, near Darlington. There both of them fell in love, Coleridge with Sara Hutchinson ('Asra'), and Wordsworth with her sister Mary, whom he married in 1802.

It was at Sockburn that Coleridge wrote his ballad-poem Love, addressed to Sara. The knight mentioned is the mailed figure on the Conyers tomb in ruined Sockburn church. The figure has a wyvern at his feet, a reference to the Sockburn worm slain by Sir John Conyers (and a possible source for Lewis Carroll's Jabberwocky). The worm was supposedly buried under the rock in the nearby pasture; this was the 'greystone' of Coleridge's first draft, later transformed into a 'mount'. The poem was a direct inspiration for John Keats' famous poem La Belle Dame Sans Merci.[12]

Coleridge's early intellectual debts, besides German idealists like Kant and critics like Lessing, were first to William Godwin's Political Justice, especially during his Pantisocratic period, and to David Hartley's Observations on Man, which is the source of the psychology which is found in Frost at Midnight. Hartley argued that one becomes aware of sensory events as impressions, and that "ideas" are derived by noticing similarities and differences between impressions and then by naming them. Connections resulting from the coincidence of impressions create linkages, so that the occurrence of one impression triggers those links and calls up the memory of those ideas with which it is associated (See Dorothy Emmet, "Coleridge and Philosophy").

Coleridge was critical of the literary taste of his contemporaries, and a literary conservative insofar as he was afraid that the lack of taste in the ever growing masses of literate people would mean a continued desecration of literature itself.

In 1800, he returned to England and shortly thereafter settled with his family and friends at Keswick in the Lake District of Cumberland to be near Grasmere, where Wordsworth had moved. Soon, however, he was beset by marital problems, illnesses, increased opium dependency, tensions with Wordsworth, and a lack of confidence in his poetic powers, all of which fueled the composition of Dejection: An Ode and an intensification of his philosophical studies.

Later life, and increasing drug use

Coleridge at age 42,, engraving by Samuel Cousins from a portrait by Washington Allston. Digitally restored.

In 1804, he travelled to Sicily and Malta, working for a time as Acting Public Secretary of Malta under the Commissioner, Alexander Ball, a task he performed quite successfully. However, he gave this up and returned to England in 1806. Dorothy Wordsworth was shocked at his condition upon his return. From 1807 to 1808, Coleridge returned to Malta and then travelled in Sicily and Italy, in the hope that leaving Britain's damp climate would improve his health and thus enable him to reduce his consumption of opium. Thomas de Quincey alleges in his Recollections of the Lakes and the Lake Poets that it was during this period that Coleridge became a full-blown opium addict, using the drug as a substitute for the lost vigour and creativity of his youth. It has been suggested, however, that this reflects de Quincey's own experiences more than Coleridge's.

His opium addiction (he was using as much as two quarts of laudanum a week) now began to take over his life: he separated from his wife Sarah in 1808, quarrelled with Wordsworth in 1810, lost part of his annuity in 1811, and put himself under the care of Dr. Daniel in 1814.

In 1809, Coleridge made his second attempt to become a newspaper publisher with the publication of the journal entitled The Friend. It was a weekly publication that, in Coleridge’s typically ambitious style, was written, edited, and published almost entirely single-handedly. Given that Coleridge tended to be highly disorganized and had no head for business, the publication was probably doomed from the start. Coleridge financed the journal by selling over five hundred subscriptions, over two dozen of which were sold to members of Parliament, but in late 1809, publication was crippled by a financial crisis and Coleridge was obliged to approach "Conversation Sharp"[13], Tom Poole and one or two other wealthy friends for an emergency loan in order to continue. The Friend was an eclectic publication that drew upon every corner of Coleridge’s remarkably diverse knowledge of law, philosophy, morals, politics, history, and literary criticism. Although it was often turgid, rambling, and inaccessible to most readers, it ran for 25 issues and was republished in book form a number of times. Years after its initial publication, The Friend became a highly influential work and its effect was felt on writers and philosophers from J.S. Mill to Emerson.

Between 1810 and 1820, this "giant among dwarfs", as he was often considered by his contemporaries, gave a series of lectures in London and Bristol – those on Shakespeare renewed interest in the playwright as a model for contemporary writers. Much of Coleridge's reputation as a literary critic is founded on the lectures that he undertook in the winter of 1810-11 which were sponsored by the Philosophical Institution and given at Scot's Corporation Hall off Fetter Lane, Fleet Street. These lectures were heralded in the prospectus as "A Course of Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, in Illustration of the Principles of Poetry." Coleridge's ill-health, opium-addiction problems, and somewhat unstable personality meant that all his lectures were plagued with problems of delays and a general irregularity of quality from one lecture to the next. Furthermore, Coleridge's mind was extremely dynamic and his personality was spasmodic. As a result of these factors, Coleridge often failed to prepare anything but the loosest set of notes for his lectures and regularly entered into extremely long digressions which his audiences found difficult to follow. However, it was the lecture on Hamlet given on 2 January 1812 that was considered the best and has influenced Hamlet studies ever since. Before Coleridge, Hamlet was often denigrated and belittled by critics from Voltaire to Dr. Johnson. Coleridge rescued Hamlet and his thoughts on the play are often still published as supplements to the text.

In August 1814, Coleridge was approached by Lord Byron's publisher, John Murray, about the possibility of translating Goethe's classic Faust (1808). Coleridge was regarded by many as the greatest living writer on the demonic and he accepted the commission, only to abandon work on it after six weeks. Until recently, scholars have accepted that Coleridge never returned to the project, despite Goethe's own belief in the 1820s that Coleridge had in fact completed a long translation of the work. In September 2007, Oxford University Press sparked a heated scholarly controversy by publishing an English translation of Goethe's work which purported to be Coleridge's long-lost masterpiece (the text in question first appeared anonymously in 1821).[14]

In 1817, Coleridge, with his addiction worsening, his spirits depressed, and his family alienated, took residence in the home of the physician James Gillman, first at South Grove and later at the nearby 3 The Grove, Highgate, London, England. He remained there for the rest of his life, and the house became a place of literary pilgrimage of writers including Carlyle and Emerson. In Gillman's home, he finished his major prose work, the Biographia Literaria (1815), a volume composed of 23 chapters of autobiographical notes and dissertations on various subjects, including some incisive literary theory and criticism. He composed much poetry here and had many inspirations — a few of them from opium overdose. Perhaps because he conceived such grand projects, he had difficulty carrying them through to completion, and he berated himself for his "indolence". It is unclear whether his growing use of opium (and the brandy in which it was dissolved) was a symptom or a cause of his growing depression.

He published other writings while he was living at the Gillman home, notably Sibylline Leaves (1820), Aids to Reflection (1825), and Church and State (1826). He died in Highgate, London on 25 July 1834 as a result of heart failure compounded by an unknown lung disorder, possibly linked to his use of opium. Coleridge had spent 18 years under the roof of the Gillman family, who built an addition onto their home to accommodate the poet.[15]

Poetry

A statue of the Ancient Mariner at Watchet Harbour, Somerset, England, unveiled in September 2003 as a tribute to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young !
Instead of the cross, the Albatross
About my neck was hung.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel, and Kubla Khan

Coleridge is probably best known for his long poems, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel. Even those who have never read the Rime have come under its influence: its words have given the English language the metaphor of an albatross around one's neck, the quotation of "water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink (almost always rendered as "but not a drop to drink")", and the phrase "a sadder and a wiser man (again, usually rendered as "sadder but wiser man")". Christabel is known for its musical rhythm, language, and its Gothic tale.

Kubla Khan, or, A Vision in a Dream, A Fragment, although shorter, is also widely known. Both Kubla Khan and Christabel have an additional "romantic" aura because they were never finished. Stopford Brooke characterised both poems as having no rival due to their "exquisite metrical movement" and "imaginative phrasing."

The Conversation poems

The eight of Coleridge's poems listed above are now often discussed as a group entitled "Conversation poems". The term itself was coined in 1928 by George McLean Harper, who borrowed the subtitle of The Nightingale: A Conversation Poem (1798) to describe the seven other poems as well.[16][17] The poems are considered by many critics to be among Coleridge's finest verses; thus Harold Bloom has written, "With Dejection, The Ancient Mariner, and Kubla Khan, Frost at Midnight shows Coleridge at his most impressive."[18] They are also among his most influential poems, as discussed further below.

Harper himself considered that the eight poems represented a form of blank verse that is "...more fluent and easy than Milton's, or any that had been written since Milton".[19] In 2006 Robert Koelzer wrote about another aspect of this apparent "easiness", noting that Conversation poems such as "... Coleridge's The Eolian Harp and The Nightingale maintain a middle register of speech, employing an idiomatic language that is capable of being construed as un-symbolic and un-musical: language that lets itself be taken as 'merely talk' rather than rapturous 'song'."[20]

The last ten lines of Frost at Midnight were chosen by Harper as the "best example of the peculiar kind of blank verse Coleridge had evolved, as natural-seeming as prose, but as exquisitely artistic as the most complicated sonnet."[21] The speaker of the poem is addressing his infant son, asleep by his side:

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

In 1965, M. H. Abrams wrote a broad description that applies to the Conversation poems: "The speaker begins with a description of the landscape; an aspect or change of aspect in the landscape evokes a varied by integral process of memory, thought, anticipation, and feeling which remains closely intervolved with the outer scene. In the course of this meditation the lyric speaker achieves an insight, faces up to a tragic loss, comes to a moral decision, or resolves an emotional problem. Often the poem rounds itself to end where it began, at the outer scene, but with an altered mood and deepened understanding which is the result of the intervening meditation."[22] In fact, Abrams was describing both the Conversation poems and later poems influenced by them. Abrams' essay has been called a "touchstone of literary criticism".[23] As Paul Magnuson described it in 2002, "Abrams credited Coleridge with originating what Abrams called the 'greater Romantic lyric', a genre that began with Coleridge's 'Conversation' poems, and included Wordsworth's Tintern Abbey, Shelley's Stanzas Written in Dejection and Keats's Ode to a Nightingale, and was a major influence on more modern lyrics by Matthew Arnold, Walt Whitman, Wallace Stevens, and W. H. Auden."[17]

Summary

Despite not enjoying the name recognition or popular acclaim that Wordsworth or Shelley have had, Coleridge is one of the most important figures in English poetry. His poems directly and deeply influenced all the major poets of the age. He was known by his contemporaries as a meticulous craftsman who was more rigorous in his careful reworking of his poems than any other poet, and Southey and Wordsworth were dependent on his professional advice. His influence on Wordsworth is particularly important because many critics have credited Coleridge with the very idea of "Conversational Poetry". The idea of utilizing common, everyday language to express profound poetic images and ideas for which Wordsworth became so famous may have originated almost entirely in Coleridge’s mind. It is difficult to imagine Wordsworth’s great poems, The Excursion or The Prelude, ever having been written without the direct influence of Coleridge’s originality.

And as important as Coleridge was to poetry as a poet, he was equally important to poetry as a critic. Coleridge's philosophy of poetry, which he developed over many years, has been deeply influential in the field of literary criticism. This influence can be seen in such critics as A.O. Lovejoy and I.A. Richards.

Literary criticism

Biographia Literaria

In addition to his poetry, Coleridge also wrote influential pieces of literary criticism including Biographia Literaria, a collection of his thoughts and opinions on literature which he published in 1817. The work delivered both biographical explanations of the author's life as well as his impressions on literature. The collection also contained an analysis of a broad range of philosophical principles of literature ranging from Aristotle to Immanuel Kant and Schelling and applied them to the poetry of peers such as William Wordsworth.[24][25] Coleridge's explanation of metaphysical principles were popular topics of discourse in academic communities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and T.S. Eliot stated that he believed that Coleridge was "perhaps the greatest of English critics, and in a sense the last." Eliot suggests that Coleridge displayed "natural abilities" far greater than his contemporaries, dissecting literature and applying philosophical principles of metaphysics in a way that brought the subject of his criticisms away from the text and into a world of logical analysis that mixed logical analysis and emotion. However, Eliot also criticizes Coleridge for allowing his emotion to play a role in the metaphysical process, believing that critics should not have emotions that are not provoked by the work being studied.[26] Hugh Kenner in Historical Fictions, discusses Norman Furman's Coleridge, the Damaged Archangel and suggests that the term "criticism" is too often applied to Biographia Literaria, which both he and Furman describe as having failed to explain or help the reader understand works of art. To Kenner, Coleridge's attempt to discuss complex philosophical concepts without describing the rational process behind them displays a lack of critical thinking that makes the volume more of a biography than a work of criticism.[27]

Coleridge and the influence of the Gothic

Gothic novels like Polidori’s The Vampyre, Walpole’s The Castle of Otranto, Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Italian, and Matthew Lewis's The Monk were the best-sellers of the end of the eighteenth century, and thrilled many young women (who were often strictly forbidden to read them). Jane Austen satirized the style mercilessly in Northanger Abbey.

Coleridge wrote reviews of Radcliffe’s books and The Mad Monk, among others. He comments in his reviews:

Situations of torment, and images of naked horror, are easily conceived; and a writer in whose works they abound, deserves our gratitude almost equally with him who should drag us by way of sport through a military hospital, or force us to sit at the dissecting-table of a natural philosopher. To trace the nice boundaries, beyond which terror and sympathy are deserted by the pleasurable emotions, - to reach those limits, yet never to pass them, hic labor, hic opus est.

and:

The horrible and the preternatural have usually seized on the popular taste, at the rise and decline of literature. Most powerful stimulants, they can never be required except by the torpor of an unawakened, or the languor of an exhausted, appetite... We trust, however, that satiety will banish what good sense should have prevented; and that, wearied with fiends, incomprehensible characters, with shrieks, murders, and subterraneous dungeons, the public will learn, by the multitude of the manufacturers, with how little expense of thought or imagination this species of composition is manufactured.

However, Coleridge used these elements in poems such as The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798), Christabel and Kubla Khan (published in 1816, but known in manuscript form before then) and certainly influenced other poets and writers of the time. Poems like this both drew inspiration from and helped to inflame the craze for Gothic romance. Mary Shelley, who knew Coleridge well, mentions The Rime of the Ancient Mariner twice directly in Frankenstein, and some of the descriptions in the novel echo it indirectly. Although William Godwin, her father, disagreed with Coleridge on some important issues, he respected his opinions and Coleridge often visited the Godwins. Mary Shelley later recalled hiding behind the sofa and hearing his voice chanting The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Notes

  1. ^ Jamison, Kay Redfield. Touched with Fire: Manic-Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament. Free Press (1994.), 219-224.
  2. ^ Radley, 13
  3. ^ Coleridge,Samuel Taylor, Joseph Noel Paton, Katharine Lee Bates.Coleridge's Ancient Mariner Ed Katharine Lee Bates. Shewell, & Sanborn (1889) p.2
  4. ^ Morley, Henry. Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christobel, &c. New York: Routledge (1884) pp.i-iv
  5. ^ Coleridge, Samuel Taylor in Venn, J. & J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press, 10 vols, 1922–1958.
  6. ^ Radley, 14
  7. ^ Holmes, 4
  8. ^ Bate, 24
  9. ^ Radley, 16
  10. ^ Welcome to Taunton's Historic Unitarian Congregation and Chapel (Dec. 2005). Unitarian Chapel, Mary Street, Taunton. Obtained Oct. 21, 2006.
  11. ^ Calvert-Toulmin, Bruce. (2006) Toulmin Family Home Page. Joshua Toulmin (*1331) 1740 - 1815. Obtained Oct. 21, 2006.
  12. ^ The Conyers falchion (a broad, short medieval sword) is traditionally presented to incoming Bishops of Durham, as they ride across the bridge at Croft.
  13. ^ For an appraisal of Sharp's role in Coleridge's career, see Knapman, D. (2004) Conversation Sharp: the Biography of a London Gentleman, Richard Sharp (1759-1835), in Letters, Prose and Verse. [Private Publication]. (Held by British Library)
  14. ^ The debate is being followed at a dedicated page on http://www.friendsofcoleridge.com/Faustus.htm Faustus (1821) controversy
  15. ^ Gillman, Alexander William (1895) Searches into the History of the Gillman or Gilman Family. London: Published by Elliot Stock
  16. ^ Harper (1928), pp. 3-27.
  17. ^ a b Magnuson (2002), p. 45.
  18. ^ Bloom (1971), p. 202.
  19. ^ Harper (1928), p. 11.
  20. ^ Koelzer (2006), p. 68.
  21. ^ Harper (1928), p. 15.
  22. ^ Abrams (1965), p.
  23. ^ Koelzer (2006). p. 67.
  24. ^ Beckson (1963), pp. 265-266.
  25. ^ See article on Mimesis
  26. ^ Eliot (1956), pp. 50-56.
  27. ^ Kenner (1995), pp. 40-45.

References

  • Abrams, M. H. (1965). "Structure and Style in the Greater Romantic Lyric". in Hilles, Frederick W.; Bloom, Harold. From Sensibility to Romanticism. Oxford University Press. pp. 527–8. 
  • Bate, Walter Jackson (1968). Coleridge. The Macmillan Company. 
  • Beckson, Karl E. (1963). Great Theories in Literary Criticism. Farrar, Straus. 
  • Bloom, Harold (1971). The Visionary Company: A Reading of English Romantic Poetry (Revised Edition). ISBN 9780801491177. http://books.google.com/books?id=jYa4akW01CwC.  Close readings of all of the Conversation Poems.
  • Coleridge (1889). Shewell & Sanborn. 
  • Eliot, T.S. (1956). "The Perfect Critic". Selected Prose of T.S. Eliot. Harcourt. 
  • Harper, George McLean (1928 (reprinted 1969)). "Coleridge's Conversation Poems". Spirit of Delight. Ayer Publishing. ISBN 9780836900163. http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/stc/Coleridge/resources/conv_poems_essay.html. "The Poems of Friendship make yet another claim on our attention: they are among the supreme examples of a peculiar kind of poetry. Others not unlike them, though not surpassing them, are Ovid's `Cum subit illius tristissima noctis imago,' and several of the Canti of Leopardi." 
  • Holmes, Richard (1982). Coleridge. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-287592-2. 
  • Kenner, Hugh (1995). "Coleridge". Historical Fictions. University of Georgia Press. 
  • Koelzer, Robert (Spring 2006). "Abrams Among the Nightingales: Revisiting the Greater Romantic Lyric". The Wordsworth Circle 37 (2): 67–71.  Detailed, recent discussion of the Conversation Poems.
  • Magnuson, Paul (2002). "The 'Conversation' poems". in Newlyn, Lucy. The Cambridge Companion to Coleridge. Cambridge University Press. pp. 32–44. ISBN 0521659094. 
  • Morley, Henry (1884). Table Talk of Samuel Taylor Coleridge and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christobel, &c.. New York: Routledge. 
  • Radley, Virginia L. (1966). Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Twayne Publishers, Inc.. 
  • Riem Natale Antonella, The One Life. Coleridge and Hinduism, Jaipur-New Delhi, Rawat, 2005.

External links

This article incorporates text from the public domain 1907 edition of The Nuttall Encyclopædia.


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.
All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (October 21, 1772July 25, 1834) was an English poet, critic and philosopher who was, along with his friend William Wordsworth, one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England and one of the Lake Poets.

Contents

Sourced

Bear witness for me, whereso'er ye be,
With what deep worship I have still adored
The spirit of divinest Liberty.
  • Poor little foal of an oppressèd race!
    I love the languid patience of thy face.
    • "To a Young Ass", li. 1 (1794)
  • Thou rising Sun! thou blue rejoicing Sky!
    Yea! every thing that is and will be free!
    Bear witness for me, whereso'er ye be,
    With what deep worship I have still adored
    The spirit of divinest Liberty.
    • "France: An Ode", st. 1 (1798)
  • The frost performs its secret ministry,
    Unhelped by any wind.
  • Or if the secret ministry of frost
    Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
    Quietly shining to the quiet moon.
    • "Frost at Midnight", l. 72 (1798)
  • Forth from his dark and lonely hiding place
    (Portentous-sight!) the owlet Atheism,
    Sailing an obscene wings athwart the noon,
    Drops his blue-fringèd lids, and holds them close,
    And hooting at the glorious sun in Heaven,
    Cries out, "Where is it?"
  • And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin
    Is pride that apes humility.
    • "The Devil's Thoughts", st. 6 (1799)
  • Strongly it bears us along in swelling and limitless billows,
    Nothing before and nothing behind but the sky and the ocean.
    • "The Homeric Hexameter" (translated from Schiller) (1799)
  • In the hexameter rises the fountain's silvery column;
    In the pentameter aye falling in melody back.
    • "The Ovidian Elegiac Metre" (translated from Schiller) (1799)
Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
In his steep course?
  • All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
    Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
    All are but ministers of Love,
    And feed his sacred flame.
    • "Love", st. 1 (1799)
  • Aloof with hermit-eye I scan
    The present works of present man —
    A wild and dreamlike trade of blood and guile,
    Too foolish for a tear, too wicked for a smile!
    • "Ode to Tranquility", st. 4 (1801)
  • Hast thou a charm to stay the morning-star
    In his steep course?
    So long he seems to pause
    On thy bald awful head, О sovran Blanc!
    • "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802) st. 1
  • Around thee and above,
    Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black,
    An ebon mass; methinks thou piercest it,
    As with a wedge! But when I look again,
    It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
    Thy habitation from eternity!
    • "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802) st. 1
Voice of sweet song! awake, my heart, awake!
Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.
  • O dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee,
    Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
    Didst vanish from my thought : entranced in prayer,
    I worshipped the Invisible alone.
    • "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802)
  • Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
    Thou owest!
    not alone these swelling tears,
    Mute thanks and secret ecstasy. Awake,
    Voice of sweet song! awake, my heart, awake!
    Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my hymn.
    • "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802)
  • Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven
    Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade the sun
    Clothe you with rainbows ? Who, with living flower
    Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet ?
    'God!' let the torrents, like a shout of nations,
    Answer ! and let the ice-plains echo, 'God!'
    'God! ' sing, ye meadow-streams, with gladsome voice!
    Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds !
    And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
    And in their perilous fall shall thunder, 'God!'
    • "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802)
Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.
  • Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds!
    Ye signs and wonders of the element!
    Utter forth ' God,' and fill the hills with praise!
    • "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802)
  • Solemnly seemest like a vapoury cloud
    To rise before me — Rise, oh, ever rise;
    Rise like a cloud of incense from the earth!
    Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills,
    Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven,
    Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
    And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
    Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.
    • "Hymn in the Vale of Chamouni" (1802) final lines
In Life's noisiest hour,
There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
The heart's Self-solace and soliloquy.

You mould my Hopes, you fashion me within.

Looking to the Heaven, that bends above you,
How oft! I bless the Lot, that made me love you.
  • How seldom, friend! a good great man inherits
    Honor or wealth, with all his worth and pains!
    It sounds like stories from the land of spirits
    If any man obtain that which he merits,
    Or any merit that which he obtains.
    • "The Great Good Man" (1802)
  • Trochee trips from long to short;
    From long to long in solemn sort
    Slow Spondee stalks.
    • "Metrical Feet" (1806)
  • And in Life's noisiest hour,
    There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
    The heart's Self-solace and soliloquy.

    You mould my Hopes, you fashion me within.

  • And looking to the Heaven, that bends above you,
    How oft! I bless the Lot, that made me love you.
    • "The Presence of Love" (1807), lines 10-11
  • Poetry is not the proper antithesis to prose, but to science. Poetry is opposed to science, and prose to metre. The proper and immediate object of science is the acquirement, or communication, of truth; the proper and immediate object of poetry is the communication of immediate pleasure.
    • "Definitions of Poetry" (1811)
  • Reviewers are usually people who would have been poets, historians, biographers, etc., if they could; they have tried their talents at one or the other, and have failed; therefore they turn critics.
  • The last speech, the motive-hunting of a motiveless malignity — how awful!
    • On Iago soliloquy in Othello, in "Notes on Shakespeare" (c. 1812)
  • The imagination ... that reconciling and mediatory power, which incorporating the reason in images of the sense and organizing (as it were) the flux of the senses by the permanence and self-circling energies of the reason, gives birth to a system of symbols, harmonious in themselves, and consubstantial with the truths of which they are the conductors.
    • "The Statesman's Manual" (1816)
  • The knight's bones are dust,
    And his good sword rust;
    His soul is with the saints, I trust.
    • "The Knight's Tomb" (c. 1817)
  • With Donne, whose muse on dromedary trots,
    Wreathe iron pokers into true-love knots;
    Rhyme's sturdy cripple, fancy's maze and clue,
    Wit's forge and fire-blast, meaning's press and screw.
    • "On Donne's Poetry" (c. 1818)
Flowers are lovely; love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree.
In many ways doth the full heart reveal
The presence of the love it would conceal.
If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake — Aye, what then?
  • Humour is consistent with pathos, whilst wit is not.
    • Said in 1821, as quoted in Letters and Conversations of S.T. Coleridge (1836) by Thomas Allsop
  • The Eighth Commandment was not made for bards.
    • "The Reproof and Reply" (1823); the eighth commandment is "Thou shalt not steal."
  • Nought cared this Body for wind or weather
    When Youth and I lived in't together.
  • Flowers are lovely; love is flower-like;
    Friendship is a sheltering tree.
    • "Youth and Age", st. 2 (1823-1832)
  • In many ways doth the full heart reveal
    The presence of the love it would conceal.
    • Poems Written in Later Life, motto (1826)
  • I counted two and seventy stenches,
    All well defined, and several stinks.
  • The river Rhine, it is well known,
    Doth wash your city of Cologne;
    But tell me, Nymphs, what power divine
    Shall henceforth wash the river Rhine?
    • "Cologne" (1828)
  • The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions — the little soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling.
    • "The Friend. The Improvisatore" (1828)
  • Beneath this sod
    A poet lies, or that which once seemed he —
    Oh, lift a thought in prayer for S.T.C!
    That he, who many a year, with toil of breath,
    Found death in life, may here find life in death.
    • "Epitaph", written for himself (1833)
  • He saw a lawyer killing a viper
    On a dunghill hard, by his own stable
    And the devil smiled, for it put him in mind Of
    Cain and his brother, Abel.
    • "The Devils Thoughts" (c. 1834).
  • If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake — Aye, what then?
    • "Anima Poetæ : From the Unpublished Note-books of Samuel Taylor Coleridge" (1895) edited by Ernest Hartley Coleridge, p. 282

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798; 1817)

Written 1797-1798, with revision in 1817, Full text online
The Mariner hath his will.
At length did cross an Albatross,
Thorough the fog it came;
As if it had been a Christian soul,
We hailed it in God's name.
With my cross-bow
I shot the Albatross.
The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free:
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea.
  • It is an ancient Mariner,
    And he stoppeth one of three.
    "By thy long gray beard and glittering eye,
    Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?"
    • Part I, st. 1
  • The Bridegroom's doors are opened wide,
    And I am next of kin;
    The guests are met, the feast is set:
    May'st hear the merry din.
    • Part I, st. 2
  • He holds him with his glittering eye —
    The Wedding-Guest stood still,
    And listens like a three years child:
    The Mariner hath his will.
    • Part I, st. 4
  • The ship was cheered, the harbour cleared,
    Merrily did we drop
    Below the kirk, below the hill,
    Below the light-house top.
    • Part I, st. 6
  • The Wedding-Guest here beat his breast,
    For he heard the loud bassoon.
    • Part I, st. 8
  • The bride hath paced into the hall,
    Red as a rose is she.
    • Part I, st. 9
  • And now there came both mist and snow,
    And it grew wondrous cold:
    And ice, mast-high, came floating by,
    As green as emerald.
    • Part I, st. 13
  • The ice was here, the ice was there,
    The ice was all around:
    It cracked and growled, and roared and howled,
    Like noises in a swound!
    • Part I, st. 15
  • At length did cross an Albatross,
    Thorough the fog it came;
    As if it had been a Christian soul,
    We hailed it in God's name.
    • Part I, st. 16
  • "God save thee, ancient Mariner!
    From the fiends, that plague thee thus! —
    Why look'st thou so?" — With my cross-bow
    I shot the Albatross.
    • Part I, st. 20
  • And I had done an hellish thing,
    And it would work 'em woe:
    For all averred, I had killed the bird
    That made the breeze to blow.
    Ah wretch! said they, the bird to slay,
    That made the breeze to blow!
    • Part II, st. 5
  • The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
    The furrow followed free:
    We were the first that ever burst
    Into that silent sea.
    • Part II, st. 5
  • Day after day, day after day,
    We stuck, nor breath nor motion ;As idle as a painted ship
    Upon a painted ocean.
    • Part II, st. 8
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink.
  • Water, water, every where,
    And all the boards did shrink;
    Water, water, every where,
    Nor any drop to drink.
    • Part II, st. 9
  • The very deep did rot: O Christ!
    That ever this should be!
    Yea, slimy things did crawl with legs
    Upon the slimy sea.
    • Part II, st. 10
  • About, about, in reel and rout
    The death fires danced at night.
    • Part II, st. 11
  • I bit my arm, I sucked the blood,
    And cried, A sail! a sail!
    • Part III, st. 4
  • Her lips were red, her looks were free,
    Her locks were yellow as gold:
    Her skin was as white as leprosy,
    The Night-Mare Life-in-Death was she,
    Who thicks man's blood with cold.
    • Part III, st. 11
  • "The game is done! I've won, I've won!"
    Quoth she, and whistles thrice.
    • Part III, st. 12
  • The Sun's rim dips; the stars rush out:
    At one stride comes the dark;
    With far-heard whisper, o'er the sea.
    Off shot the spectre-bark.
    • Part III, st. 13
  • We listened and looked sideways up!
    Fear at my heart, as at a cup,
    My life-blood seemed to sip!
    • Part III, st. 14
  • The hornèd Moon, with one bright star
    Within the nether tip.
    • Part III, st. 14
  • One after one, by the star-dogged Moon,
    Too quick for groan or sigh,
    Each turned his face with a ghastly pang,
    And cursed me with his eye.
    • Part III, st. 15
The many men, so beautiful!
And they all dead did lie:
And a thousand thousand slimy things
Lived on; and so did I.
  • I fear thee, ancient Mariner!
    I fear thy skinny hand!

    And thou art long, and lank, and brown,
    As is the ribbed sea-sand.
    • Part IV, st. 1
  • Alone, alone, all, all alone,
    Alone on a wide wide sea!

    And never a saint took pity on
    My soul in agony.
    • Part IV, st. 3
  • The many men, so beautiful!
    And they all dead did lie:
    And a thousand thousand slimy things
    Lived on; and so did I.
    • Part IV, st. 4
  • An orphan's curse would drag to Hell
    A spirit from on high;
    But oh! more horrible than that
    Is a curse in a dead man's eye!
    Seven days, seven nights, I saw that curse,
    And yet I could not die.
    • Part IV, st. 9
  • The moving Moon went up the sky,
    And no where did abide:
    Softly she was going up,
    And a star or two beside.
    • Part IV, st. 10
  • Beyond the shadow of the ship,
    I watched the water-snakes:
    They moved in tracks of shining white,
    And when they reared, the elfish light
    Fell off in hoary flakes.
    • Part IV, st. 12
They coiled and swam; and every track
Was a flash of golden fire.
O happy living things! no tongue
Their beauty might declare:
A spring of love gushed from my heart,
And I blessed them unaware:
Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
And I blessed them unaware.
  • Within the shadow of the ship
    I watched their rich attire:
    Blue, glossy green, and velvet black,
    They coiled and swam; and every track
    Was a flash of golden fire.
    • Part IV, st. 13
  • O happy living things! no tongue
    Their beauty might declare:
    A spring of love gushed from my heart,
    And I blessed them unaware:
    Sure my kind saint took pity on me,
    And I blessed them unaware.
    • Part IV, st. 15
  • The self-same moment I could pray;
    And from my neck so free
    The Albatross fell off, and sank
    Like lead into the sea.
    • Part IV, st. 16
  • Oh sleep! it is a gentle thing,
    Beloved from pole to pole.
    • Part V, st. 1
  • We were a ghastly crew.
    • Part V, st. 11
  • It ceased; yet still the sails made on
    A pleasant noise till noon,
    A noise like of a hidden brook
    In the leafy month of June,
    That to the sleeping woods all night
    Singeth a quiet tune.
    • Part V, st. 17
  • The man hath penance done,
    And penance more will do.
    • Part V, st. 25
  • Like one that on a lonesome road
    Doth walk in fear and dread,
    And having once turned round walks on,
    And turns no more his head;
    Because he knows, a frightful fiend
    Doth close behind him tread.
    • Part VI, st. 10
I pass, like night, from land to land;
I have strange power of speech;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me:
To him my tale I teach.
  • Is this the hill? is this the kirk?
    Is this mine own countree?
    • Part VI, st. 14
  • I pass, like night, from land to land;
    I have strange power of speech;
    That moment that his face I see,
    I know the man that must hear me:
    To him my tale I teach.
    • Part VI, st. 17
  • No voice; but oh! the silence sank
    Like music on my heart.
    • Part VI, st. 22
  • And the owlet whoops to the wolf below,
    That eats the she-wolf's young.
    • Part VII, st. 5
  • "Ha! ha!" quoth he, "full plain I see,
    The Devil knows how to row."
    • Part VII, st. 12
  • Farewell, farewell! but this I tell
    To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
    He prayeth well, who loveth well
    Both man and bird and beast.
    • Part VII, st. 22
  • He prayeth best, who loveth best
    All things both great and small;
    For the dear God who loveth us,
    He made and loveth all.
    • Part VII, st. 23
  • The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
    Whose beard with age is hoar,
    Is gone: and now the Wedding-Guest
    Turned from the bridegroom's door.

    He went like one that hath been stunned,
    And is of sense forlorn:
    A sadder and a wiser man,
    He rose the morrow morn.

    • Part VII, st. 24-25

Kubla Khan (written 1797 or 1798, published 1816)

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
  • In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree:
    Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
    Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to a sunless sea.
  • So twice five miles of fertile ground
    With walls and towers were girdled round:
    And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
    Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
    And here were forests ancient as the hills,
    Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
  • But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
    Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
    A savage place! as holy and enchanted
    As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted
    By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
    And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
    As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
    A mighty fountain momently was forced:
  • Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
    Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
    Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail :
    And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
    It flung up momently the sacred river.
  • Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
    Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
    Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
    And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
    And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
    Ancestral voices prophesying war!
Weave a circle round him thrice,
And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.
  • The shadow of the dome of pleasure
    Floated midway on the waves;
    Where was heard the mingled measure
    From the fountain and the caves.
  • It was a miracle of rare device,
    A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!
  • A damsel with a dulcimer
    In a vision once I saw
    :
    It was an Abyssinian maid,
    And on her dulcimer she played,
    Singing of Mount Abora.
    Could I revive within me
    Her symphony and song,
    To such a deep delight 'twould win me,
    That with music loud and long,
    I would build that dome in air,
    That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
    And all who heard should see them there,
    And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
    His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
    Weave a circle round him thrice,
    And close your eyes with holy dread,
    For he on honey-dew hath fed,
    And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Christabel (written 1797-1801, published 1816)

  • Sir Leoline, the Baron rich,
    Hath a toothless mastiff bitch.
    • Part I, l. 6
  • There is not wind enough to twirl
    The one red leaf, the last of its clan,
    That dances as often as dance it can,
    Hanging so light, and hanging so high,
    On the topmost twig that looks up at the sky.
    • Part I, l. 48
  • Her gentle limbs did she undress,
    And lay down in her loveliness.
    • Part I, l. 237
  • A sight to dream of, not to tell!
    • Part I, l. 252
  • Saints will aid if men will call:
    For the blue sky bends over all!
    • Part I, l. 330
  • And constancy lives in realms above;
    And life is thorny; and youth is vain;
    And to be wroth with one we love
    Doth work like madness in the brain.
    • Part II, l. 410

Dejection: An Ode (1802)

Full text online
O lady! we receive but what we give
And in our life alone does Nature live.
Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud...
  • Yon crescent Moon, as fixed as if it grew
    In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue;
    I see them all so excellently fair,
    I see, not feel, how beautiful they are!
    • St. 2
  • O lady! we receive but what we give
    And in our life alone does Nature live.
    • St. 4
  • A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud
    Enveloping the earth.
    • St. 4
  • Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud —
    We in ourselves rejoice!
    And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,
    All melodies the echoes of that voice,
    All colours a suffusion from that light.
    • St. 5

On the Principles of Genial Criticism (1814)

The Beautiful arises from the perceived harmony of an object, whether sight or sound, with the inborn and constitutive rules of the judgment and imagination: and it is always intuitive.
  • Taste is the intermediate faculty which connects the active with the passive powers of our nature, the intellect with the senses; and its appointed function is to elevate the images of the latter, while it realizes the ideas of the former.
  • The most general definition of beauty ... Multeity in Unity.
  • The Good consists in the congruity of a thing with the laws of the reason and the nature of the will, and in its fitness to determine the latter to actualize the former: and it is always discursive. The Beautiful arises from the perceived harmony of an object, whether sight or sound, with the inborn and constitutive rules of the judgment and imagination: and it is always intuitive.

Biographia Literaria (1817)

Full text online
An idea, in the highest sense of that word, cannot be conveyed but by a symbol.
Veracity does not consist in saying, but in the intention of communicating truth.
The primary Imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.
The poet, described in ideal perfection, brings the whole soul of man into activity, with the subordination of its faculties to each other according to their relative worth and dignity.
No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher.
  • Not the poem which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power, and claims the name of essential poetry.
    • Ch. I
  • Every reform, however necessary, will by weak minds be carried to an excess, that itself will need reforming.
    • Ch. I
  • Experience informs us that the first defence of weak minds is to recriminate.
    • Ch. II
  • Indignation at literary wrongs I leave to men born under happier stars. I cannot afford it.
    • Ch. II
  • Milton had a highly imaginative, Cowley a very fanciful mind.
    • Ch. IV
  • An idea, in the highest sense of that word, cannot be conveyed but by a symbol.
    • Ch. IX
  • Veracity does not consist in saying, but in the intention of communicating truth.
    • Ch. IX
  • Never pursue literature as a trade.
    • Ch. XI
  • Until you understand a writer's ignorance, presume yourself ignorant of his understanding.
    • Ch. XII
  • During the act of knowledge itself, the objective and subjective are so instantly united, that we cannot determine to which of the two the priority belongs.
    • Ch. XII
  • The primary Imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.
    • Ch. XIII
  • The secondary Imagination I consider as an echo of the former, co-existing with the conscious will, yet still as identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode of its operation. It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to recreate: or where this process is rendered impossible, yet still at all events it struggles to idealize and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects (as objects) are essentially fixed and dead.
    • Ch. XIII
  • The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of time and space.
    • Ch. XIII
  • Our conversations turned frequently on the two cardinal points of poetry, the power of exciting the sympathy of the reader by a faithful adherence to the truth of nature, and the power of giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colours of imagination.
    • Ch. XIV
  • That willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith.
    • Ch. XIV
  • The poet, described in ideal perfection, brings the whole soul of man into activity, with the subordination of its faculties to each other according to their relative worth and dignity. He diffuses a tone and spirit of unity, that blends, and (as it were) fuses, each into each, by that synthetic and magical power, to which I would exclusively appropriate the name of Imagination.
    • Ch. XIV
  • This power...reveals itself in the balance or reconcilement of opposite or discordant qualities: of sameness, with difference; of the general with the concrete; the idea with the image; the individual with the representative; the sense of novelty and freshness with old and familiar objects; a more than usual state of emotion with more than usual order; judgment ever awake and steady self-possession with enthusiasm and feeling profound or vehement; and while it blends and harmonizes the natural and the artificial, still subordinates art to nature; the manner to the matter; and our admiration of the poet to our sympathy with the poetry.
    • Ch. XIV
  • It has been observed before that images, however beautiful, though faithfully copied from nature, and as accurately represented in words, do not of themselves characterize the poet. They become proofs of original genius only as far as they are modified by a predominant passion; or by associated thoughts or images awakened by that passion; or when they have the effect of reducing multitude to unity, or succession to an instant; or lastly, when a human and intellectual life is transferred to them from the poet's spirit.
    • Ch. XV
  • No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher.
    • Ch. XV
  • Shakspeare, no mere child of nature ; no automaton of genius; no passive vehicle of inspiration possessed by the spirit, not possessing it; first studied patiently, meditated deeply, understood minutely, till knowledge became habitual and intuitive, wedded itself to his habitual feelings, and at length gave birth to that stupendous power by which he stands alone, with no equal or second in his own class ; to that power which seated him on one of the two glorysmitten summits of the poetic mountain, with Milton аs his compeer, not rival. While the former darts himself forth, and passes into all the forms of human character and passion, the one Proteus of the fire and the flood ; the other attracts all forms and things to himself, into the unity of his own Ideal. All things and modes of action shape themselves anew in the being of Milton; while Shakspeare becomes all things, yet for ever remaining himself.
    • Ch. XV
  • The myriad-minded man, our, and all men's, Shakespeare, has in this piece presented us with a legitimate farce in exactest consonance with the philosophical principles and character of farce, as distinguished from comedy and from entertainments. A proper farce is mainly distinguished from comedy by the licence allowed, and even required, in the fable, in order to produce strange and laughable situations. The story need not be probable, it is enough that it is possible.
  • The best part of human language, properly so called, is derived from reflection on the acts of the mind itself.
    • Ch. XVII

On Poesy or Art (1818)

  • Now Art, used collectively for painting, sculpture, architecture and music, is the mediatress between, and reconciler of, nature and man. It is, therefore, the power of humanizing nature, of infusing the thoughts and passions of man into everything which is the object of his contemplation.
  • The artist must imitate that which is within the thing, that which is active through form and figure, and discourses to us by symbols.
  • The heart should have fed upon the truth, as insects on a leaf, till it be tinged with the color, and show its food in every ... minutest fiber.

Table Talk (1821-1834)

Schiller has the material sublime.
Kean is original; but he copies from himself. His rapid descents from the hyper-tragic to the infra-colloquial, though sometimes productive of great effect, are often unreasonable. To see him act, is like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning.
Specimens of the Table Talk of S.T. Coleridge (1835) by Henry N. Coleridge The date that follows each quote refers to when the remark was made.
  • Schiller has the material sublime.
    • 29 December 1822
  • Plagiarists are always suspicious of being stolen from, — as pickpockets are observed commonly to walk with their hands in their breeches' pockets.
    • 4 January 1823

  • Kean is original; but he copies from himself. His rapid descents from the hyper-tragic to the infra-colloquial, though sometimes productive of great effect, are often unreasonable. To see him act, is like reading Shakespeare by flashes of lightning. I do not think him thorough-bred gentleman enough to play Othello.
    • 17 April 1823
  • The Earth with its scarred face is the symbol of the Past; the Air and Heaven, of Futurity.
    • 2 June 1824
  • Hamlet's character is the prevalence of the abstracting and generalizing habit over the practical. He does not want courage, skill, will, or opportunity; but every incident sets him thinking; and it is curious, and at the same time strictly natural, that Hamlet, who all the play seems reason itself, should he impelled, at last, by mere accident to effect his object. I have a smack of Hamlet myself, if I may say so.
    • 24 June 1827
  • I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose = words in their best order; poetry = the best words in their best order.
    • 12 July 1827
  • The Reformation in the sixteenth century narrowed Reform. As soon as men began to call themselves names, all hope of further amendment was lost.
    • 21 July 1827
  • The man's desire is for the woman; but the woman's desire is rarely other than for the desire of the man.
    • 23 July 1827
  • Painting is the intermediate somewhat between a thought and a thing.
    • 30 August 1827
  • Poetry is certainly something more than good sense, but it must be good sense at all events; just as a palace is more than a house, but it must be a house, at least.
    • 9 May 1830
  • That passage is what I call the sublime dashed to pieces by cutting too close with the fiery four-in-hand round the corner of nonsense.
    • 9 May 1830
  • The book of Job is pure Arab poetry of the highest and most antique cast.
    • 9 May 1830
  • Shakespeare is the Spinosistic deity — an omnipresent creativeness. Milton is the deity of prescience; he stands ab extra, and drives a fiery chariot and four, making the horses feel the iron curb which holds them in. Shakspeare's poetry is characterless; that is, it does not reflect the individual Shakspeare; but John Milton himself is in every line of the Paradise Lost. Shakspeare's rhymed verses are excessively condensed, — epigrams with the point every where; but in his blank dramatic verse he is diffused, with a linked sweetness long drawn out.
    • 12 May 1830
  • The present system of taking oaths is horrible. It is awfully absurd to make a man invoke God's wrath upon himself, if he speaks false; it is, in my judgment, a sin to do so.
    • 25 May 1830
  • The Pilgrim's Progress is composed in the lowest style of English, without slang or false grammar. If you were to polish it, you would at once destroy the reality of the vision. For works of imagination should be written in very plain language; the more purely imaginative they are the more necessary it is to be plain.
    • 31 May 1830
  • He told me that facts gave birth to, and were the absolute ground of, principles; to which I said, that unless he had a principle of selection, he would not have taken notice of those facts upon which he grounded his principle. You must have a lantern in your hand to give light, otherwise all the materials in the world are useless, for you cannot find them; and if you could, you could not arrange them.
    • 21 September 1830
If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us!
In the treatment of nervous cases, he is the best physician who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope.
If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it, he is sinking downwards to be a devil. He cannot stop at the beast. The most savage of men are not beasts; they are worse, a great deal worse.
What is Love but Youth and Hope embracing, and so seen as one? I say realities; for reality is a thing of degrees, from the Iliad to a dream.
  • A poet ought not to pick nature's pocket: let him borrow, and so borrow as to repay by the very act of borrowing. Examine nature accurately, but write from recollection; and trust more to your imagination than to your memory.
    • 22 September 1830
  • If men could learn from history, what lessons it might teach us! But passion and party blind our eyes, and the light which experience gives is a lantern on the stern, which shines only on the waves behind us!
    • 18 December 1831
  • The truth is, a great mind must be androgynous.
    • 1 September 1832
  • In the treatment of nervous cases, he is the best physician who is the most ingenious inspirer of hope.
    • 2 January 1833
  • You talk about making this article cheaper by reducing its price in the market from 8 d. to 6 d. But suppose, in so doing, you have rendered your country weaker against a foreign foe; suppose you have demoralized thousands of your fellow-countrymen, and have sown discontent between one class of society and another, your article is tolerably dear, I take it, after all.
    • 17 March 1833
  • The principle of the Gothic architecture is infinity made imaginable. It is no doubt a sublimer effort of genius than the Greek style; but then it depends much more on execution for its effect.
    • 29 June 1833
  • I am glad you came in to punctuate my discourse, which I fear has gone on for an hour without any stop at all.
    • 29 June 1833
  • The true key to the declension of the Roman empire — which is not to be found in all Gibbon's immense work — may be stated in two words: — the imperial character overlaying, and finally destroying, the national character. Rome under Trajan was an empire without a nation.
    • 15 August 1833
  • Brute animals have the vowel sounds; man only can utter consonants.
    • 20 August 1833
  • I am never very forward in offering spiritual consolation to any one in distress or disease. I believe that such resources, to be of any service, must be self-evolved in the first instance. I am something of the Quaker's mind in this, and am inclined to wait for the spirit.
    • 20 August 1833
  • Farce may often border on tragedy; indeed, farce is nearer tragedy in its essence than comedy is.
    • 20 August 1833
  • If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it, he is sinking downwards to be a devil. He cannot stop at the beast. The most savage of men are not beasts; they are worse, a great deal worse.
    • 30 August 1833
  • Dryden's genius was of that sort which catches fire by its own motion; his chariot wheels get hot by driving fast.
    • 1 November 1833
  • I have known books written on Tolerance, the proper title of which would be — intolerant or intolerable books on tolerance. Should not a man who writes a book expressly to inculcate tolerance learn to treat with respect, or at least with indulgence, articles of faith which tens of thousands ten times told of his fellow-subjects or his fellow-creatures believe with all their souls, and upon the truth of which they rest their tranquillity in this world, and their hopes of salvation in the next, — those articles being at least maintainable against his arguments, and most certainly innocent in themselves?
    • 3 January 1834
  • I am by the law of my nature a reasoner. A person who should suppose I meant by that word, an arguer, would not only not understand me, but would understand the contrary of my meaning. I can take no interest whatever in hearing or saying any thing merely as a fact — merely as having happened. It must refer to something within me before I can regard it with any curiosity or care. My mind is always energic — I don't mean energetic; I require in every thing what, for lack of another word, I may call propriety, — that is, a reason why the thing is at all, and why it is there or then rather than elsewhere or at another time.
    • 1 March 1834
  • I take unceasing delight in Chaucer. His manly cheerfulness is especially delicious to me in my old age. How exquisitely tender he is, and yet how perfectly free from the least touch of sickly melancholy or morbid drooping! The sympathy of the poet with the subjects of his poetry is particularly remarkable in Shakspeare and Chaucer; but what the first effects by a strong act of imagination and mental metamorphosis, the last does without any effort, merely by the inborn kindly joyousness of his nature. How well we seem to know Chaucer! How absolutely nothing do we know of Shakspeare!
    • 15 March 1834
  • I am dying, but without expectation of a speedy release. Is it not strange that very recently by-gone images, and scenes of early life, have stolen into my mind, like breezes blown from the spice-islands of Youth and Hope — those twin realities of this phantom world! I do not add Love, — for what is Love but Youth and Hope embracing, and so seen as one? I say realities; for reality is a thing of degrees, from the Iliad to a dream.
    • 10 July 1834

Work Without Hope (1825)

Full text online
Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
And Hope without an object cannot live.
  • All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave their lair —
    The bees are stirring — birds are on the wing —
    And Winter slumbering in the open air,
    Wears on his smiling face a dream of Spring!
    And I the while, the sole unbusy thing,
    Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor sing.
    • l. 1
  • Bloom, O ye Amaranths! bloom for whom ye may,
    For me ye bloom not!
    Glide, rich streams, away!
    With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, I stroll:
    And would you learn the spells that drowse my soul?
    Work without Hope draws nectar in a sieve,
    And Hope without an object cannot live.
    • l. 9

Duty Surviving Self-Love (1826)

Full text online
Old Friends burn dim, like lamps in noisome air,
Love them for what they are ; nor love them less,
Because to thee they are not what they were.
  • Unchanged within, to see all changed without,
    Is a blank lot and hard to bear, no doubt.

    Yet why at others' Wanings should'st thou fret?
    Then only might'st thou feel a just regret,
    Hadst thou withheld thy love or hid thy light
    In selfish forethought of neglect and slight.
  • O wiselier then, from feeble yearnings freed,
    While, and on whom, thou may'st — shine on! nor heed
    Whether the object by reflected light
    Return thy radiance or absorb it quite:
    And tho' thou notest from thy safe recess
    Old Friends burn dim, like lamps in noisome air,
    Love them for what they are ; nor love them less,
    Because to thee they are not what they were.

Letters

I was in the humour for metaphors — and to tell thee the Truth, I have so often serious reasons to quarrel with my Inclination, that I do not chuse to contradict it for Trifles.
From my early reading of Faery Tales, & Genii &c &c — my mind had been habituated to the Vast — & I never regarded my senses in any way as the criteria of my belief.
Those who have been led by the same truths step by step thro' the constant testimony of their senses, seem to me to want a sense which I possess — They contemplate nothing but parts — and are parts are necessarily little — and the Universe to them is but a mass of little things.
It is a flat'ning Thought, that the more we have seen, the less we have to say.
  • I have often been surprised that Mathematics, the quintessence of Truth, should have found admirers so few and so languid. Frequent consideration and minute scrutiny have at length unravelled the cause: viz. that though Reason is feasted, Imagination is starved; whilst Reason is luxuriating in its proper Paradise, Imagination is wearily travelling on a dreary desert.
    • Letter to his brother (1791)
  • My next shall be a more sober & chastised Epistle — but you see I was in the humour for metaphors — and to tell thee the Truth, I have so often serious reasons to quarrel with my Inclination, that I do not chuse to contradict it for Trifles.
  • Your Sensibilities are tempestuous — you feel Indignation at Weakness — Now Indignation is the handsome Brother of Anger & Hatred — His looks are "lovely in terror" — yet still remember, who are his Relations.
    • Letter to Robert Southey (29 December 1794)
  • From my early reading of Faery Tales, & Genii &c &c — my mind had been habituated to the Vast — & I never regarded my senses in any way as the criteria of my belief. I regulated all my creeds by my conceptions not by my sight — even at that age. Should children be permitted to read Romances, & Relations of Giants & Magicians, & Genii? — I know all that has been said against it; but I have formed my faith in the affirmative. — I know no other way of giving the mind a love of "the Great," & "the Whole." — Those who have been led by the same truths step by step thro' the constant testimony of their senses, seem to me to want a sense which I possess — They contemplate nothing but parts — and are parts are necessarily little — and the Universe to them is but a mass of little things. It is true, the mind may become credulous and prone to superstition by the former method; — but are not the experimentalists credulous even to madness in believing any absurdity, rather than believe the grandest truths, if they have not the testimony of their own senses in their favor? I have known some who have been rationally educated, as it is styled. They were marked by a microscopic acuteness; but when they looked at great things, all became a blank, and they saw nothing, and denied that any thing could be seen, and uniformly put the negative of a power for the possession of a power, and called the want of imagination judgment, and the never being moved to rapture philosophy.
    • Letter to Thomas Poole (16 October 1797)
  • God knows, it is as much as I can do to put meat and bread on my own table; & hourly some poor starving wretch comes to my door, to put in his claim for a part of it.
    • Letter to Thomas Poole (23 March 1801)
  • Metaphisics is a word that you, my dear Sir! are no great friend to / but yet you will agree, that a great Poet must be, implicitè if not explicitè, a profound Metaphysician. He may not have it in logical coherence, in his Brain & Tongue; but he must have it by Tact / for all sounds, & all forms of human nature he must have the ear of a wild Arab listening in the silent Desart, the eye of a North American Indian tracing the footsteps of an Enemy upon the Leaves that strew the Forest — ; the Touch of a Blind Man feeling the face of a darling Child.
    • Letter to William Sotheby (13 July 1802)
  • But metre itself implies a passion, i.e. a state of excitement, both in the Poet's mind, & is expected in that of the Reader.
    • Letter to William Sotheby (13 July 1802)
  • Never to see or describe any interesting appearance in nature, without connecting it by dim analogies with the moral world, proves faintness of Impression. Nature has her proper interest; & he will know what it is, who believes & feels, that every Thing has a life of it's own, & that we are all one Life.
    • Letter to William Sotheby (10 September 1802)
  • He has no native Passion, because he is not a Thinker — & has probably weakened his Intellect by the haunting Fear of becoming extravagant.
    • Letter to William Sotheby (10 September 1802)
  • Moral obligation is to me so very strong a Stimulant, that in 9 cases out of ten it acts as a Narcotic. The Blow that should rouse, stuns me.
    • Letter to Henry Crabb Robinson (12 March 1811)
  • The age seems sore from excess of stimulation, just as a day or two after a thorough Debauch and long sustained Drinking-match a man feels all over like a Bruise. Even to admire otherwise than on the whole and where "I admire" is but a synonyme for "I remember, I liked it very much when I was reading it," is too much an effort, would be too disquieting an emotion!
    • Letter to Thomas Allsop (30 March 1820)
  • It is a flat'ning Thought, that the more we have seen, the less we have to say.
    • Letter to James Gillman (9 October 1825)
  • Nature is a wary wily long-breathed old Witch, tough-lived as a Turtle and divisible as the Polyp, repullulative in a thousand Snips and Cuttings, integra et in toto! She is sure to get the better of Lady MIND in the long run, and to take her revenge too — transforms our To Day into a Canvass dead-colored to receive the dull featureless Portait of Yesterday.
    • Letter to James Gillman (9 October 1825)
  • How many of our virtues originate in the fear of Death — & that while we flatter ourselves that we are melting in Christian Sensibility over the sorrows of our human Brethren and Sisteren, we are in fact, tho' perhaps unconsciously, moved at the prospect of our own End — for who sincerely pities Sea-sickness, Toothache, or a fit of the Gout in a lusty Good-liver of 50?
    • Letter to James Gillman (9 October 1825)

Quotes about Coleridge

The author of Biographia Literaria was already a ruined man. Sometimes, however, to be a "ruined man" is itself a vocation. ~ T. S. Eliot
  • And Coleridge, too, has lately taken wing,
    But, like a hawk encumber'd with his hood,
    Explaining metaphysics to the nation –
    I wish he would explain his Explanation.
  • He is a kind, good soul, full of religion and affection and poetry and animal magnetism. His cardinal sin is that he wants will. He has no resolution. He shrinks from pain or labour in any of its shapes. His very atti- tude bespeaks this. He never straightens his knee-joints. He stoops with his fat, ill-shapen shoulders, and in walking he does not tread, but shovel and slide. My father would call it "skluiffing." He is also always busied to keep, by strong and frequent inhalations, the water of his mouth from over-flowing, and his eyes have a look of anxious impotence. He would do with all his heart, but he knows he dares not. The conversation of the man is much as I anticipated — a forest of thoughts, some true, many false, more part dubious, all of them ingenious in some degree, often in a high degree. But there is no method in his talk; he wanders like a man sailing among many currents, whithersoever his lazy mind directs him; and, what is more unpleasant, he preaches, or rather soliloquises. He cannot speak, he can only tal-k (so he names it). Hence I found him unprofitable, even tedious; but we parted very good friends, I promising to go back and see him some evening a promise which I fully intend to keep. I sent him a copy of Meister, about which we had some friendly talk. I reckon him a man of great and useless genius: a strange, not at all a great man.
  • The author of Biographia Literaria was already a ruined man. Sometimes, however, to be a "ruined man" is itself a vocation.
    • T. S. Eliot, The Use of Poetry and the Use of Criticism (1933), p. 69.
  • He was the first poet I ever knew. His genius at that time had angelic wings, and fed on manna. He talked on for ever; and you wished him to talk on for ever. His thoughts did not seem to come with labour and effort; but as if borne on the gusts of genius, and as if the wings of his imagination lifted him from off his feet.
  • The genius of Coleridge is like a sunken treasure ship, and Coleridge a diver too timid and lazy to bring its riches to the surface.
  • His face when he repeats his verses hath its ancient glory, an Arch angel a little damaged … Coleridge is absent but 4 miles, & the neighbourhood of such a man is as exciting as the presence of 50 ordinary Persons.

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[[File:|thumb|right|Samuel Taylor Coleridge]]

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (21 October 177225 July 1834) was an English poet. Together with his friend William Wordsworth, Coleridge is often said to have started the Romantic movement in English literature.

Coleridge was the son of a minister, and the youngest of ten children. He attended the University of Cambridge, though he never earned his degree. He met Wordsworth, another young poet, in 1795. They became close friends, and in 1798 they published their poems in a book called Lyrical Ballads, which many critics consider a key event in English Romanticism. Most of the poems in the book were written by Wordsworth, though it also contained Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which many people call his masterpiece and one of the great poems in English. (In it, Coleridge used old-fashioned spellings, like "rime" for "rhyme," to give the poem an antique feeling.)

In 1796, Coleridge wrote his poem Kubla Khan — along with the Ancient Mariner, it is his best-known work. At about the same time, in the later 1790s, Coleridge became addicted to opium. At that time the drug was legal, and was widely used as a pain-killer. Coleridge's addiction to opium marked the rest of his life. His health suffered, and he had trouble supporting his wife and children. He also had a hard time finishing the writing projects he started.

Coleridge had a reputation as a great talker, and people often invited him to their dinner parties to hear him speak. He was a successful lecturer at times in his later life. He gained a reputation as a thinker and philosopher as well as a poet.

Scholars and critics of English literature have regarded Coleridge as a major figure. In his 1927 book The Road to Xanadu, John Livingston Lowes used Coleridge's poetry, especially Kubla Khan, to study the working of the human imagination. Critics have argued about the role that opium addiction played in the poet's life and work. In his 1971 book Coleridge, the Damaged Archangel, Norman Furman showed that Coleridge was guilty of plagiarism in many of his later works. His opium addiction may have left Coleridge unable to tell when he was repeating the work of other writers that he had read.








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