Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. (1772 - 1834).
L i f e
- a lifelong friend of William Wordsworth: collaborated on the Lyrical Ballads
- took laudanum for his rheumatism => became addicted, suffered both physically and psychically, quarrelled bitterly with Wordsworth
- in his last years reconciled with both his wife and Wordsworth
W o r k
- associated with the ‘Lake Poets’
- frequently adapted or adopted passages from other writers => repeatedly charged with plagiarism
- left many of his ambitious works unfinished or eked out brilliant sections with filler (Biographia Literaria)
The Fall of Robespierre. An Historic Drama (1794):
- an early radical play in collaboration with Robert Southey
Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems (1798) = Lyrical Ballads, with Other Poems (1800, 2nd edition):
- the Preface to the 2nd edition stated the manifesto of Romanticism and the theory of new poetry
- defines poetry as ‘the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings from emotions recollected in tranquillity’
> “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”:
- concerned with the voyage of discovery, both literal and figurative, and the guilt and expiation of an arbitrary ‘murderer’ of an albatross
> “Frost at Midnight”:
- a conversation poem: interrelates description and meditation in blank verse
- a fireside meditation on a larger world beyond the cottage
Biographia Literaria (1817):
- a loosely shaped series of meditations on poetry, poets, and the nature of the poetic imagination
- both original and plagiaristic, prophetic and indebted to tradition
- defines ‘fancy’ = juxtaposes images and impressions without fusing them x ‘imagination’ = actively moulds and transforms them into unity
“Dejection: An Ode” (1802):
- his last conversation poem and a farewell to health, happiness, and poetic creativity
“Kubla Khan, or, a Vision in a Dream: A Fragment” (1816):
- a visionary poem interrelating mythology, history, and religion
- a ‘Gothic’ poem confronting young woman with a demonic force
(Picture: Wikimedia Commons).
AuthorSamuel Taylor Coleridge. (1772 - 1834). British.
WorkPoet. Playwright. Literary critic and theorist. Author of "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner".
GenresRomanticism. Poetry and drama.
Abrams, Meyer Howard, ed. The Norton Anthology of English Literature. New York: W. W. Norton, 1993.
Barnard, Robert. Stručné dějiny anglické literatury. Praha: Brána, 1997.
Baugh, Albert C. ed. A Literary History of England. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1967.
Coote, Stephen. The Penguin Short History of English Literature. London: Penguin, 1993.
Sampson, George. The Concise Cambridge History of English Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1946.
Sanders, Andrew. The Short Oxford History of English Literature. New York: Clarendon Press, 1994.
"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."
From "Kubla Khan" (1816).