Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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"Coleridge" redirects here. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_0

For other uses, see Coleridge (disambiguation). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_1

This article is about the early 19th-century English poet. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_2

For the late 19th-century British composer, see Samuel Coleridge-Taylor. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_3

Samuel Taylor Coleridge_table_infobox_0

Samuel Taylor ColeridgeSamuel Taylor Coleridge_header_cell_0_0_0
BornSamuel Taylor Coleridge_header_cell_0_1_0 (1772-10-21)21 October 1772

Ottery St Mary, Devon, Great BritainSamuel Taylor Coleridge_cell_0_1_1

DiedSamuel Taylor Coleridge_header_cell_0_2_0 25 July 1834(1834-07-25) (aged 61)

Highgate, Middlesex, United Kingdom of Great Britain and IrelandSamuel Taylor Coleridge_cell_0_2_1

OccupationSamuel Taylor Coleridge_header_cell_0_3_0 Poet, critic, philosopherSamuel Taylor Coleridge_cell_0_3_1
Alma materSamuel Taylor Coleridge_header_cell_0_4_0 Jesus College, CambridgeSamuel Taylor Coleridge_cell_0_4_1
Literary movementSamuel Taylor Coleridge_header_cell_0_5_0 RomanticismSamuel Taylor Coleridge_cell_0_5_1
Notable worksSamuel Taylor Coleridge_header_cell_0_6_0 The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Kubla Khan, Christabel, Conversation poems, Biographia LiterariaSamuel Taylor Coleridge_cell_0_6_1
SpouseSamuel Taylor Coleridge_header_cell_0_7_0 Sara FrickerSamuel Taylor Coleridge_cell_0_7_1
ChildrenSamuel Taylor Coleridge_header_cell_0_8_0 Hartley Coleridge

Berkeley Coleridge Sara Coleridge Derwent ColeridgeSamuel Taylor Coleridge_cell_0_8_1

SignatureSamuel Taylor Coleridge_header_cell_0_9_0 Samuel Taylor Coleridge_cell_0_9_1

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (/ˈkoʊlərɪdʒ/; 21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) was an English poet, literary critic, philosopher and theologian who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_4

He also shared volumes and collaborated with Charles Lamb, Robert Southey, and Charles Lloyd. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_5

He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_6

His critical work, especially on William Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_7

Coleridge coined many familiar words and phrases, including "suspension of disbelief". Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_8

He had a major influence on Ralph Waldo Emerson and American transcendentalism. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_9

Throughout his adult life Coleridge had crippling bouts of anxiety and depression; it has been speculated that he had bipolar disorder, which had not been defined during his lifetime. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_10

He was physically unhealthy, which may have stemmed from a bout of rheumatic fever and other childhood illnesses. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_11

He was treated for these conditions with laudanum, which fostered a lifelong opium addiction. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_12

Early life and education Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_0

Main article: Early life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_13

Coleridge was born on 21 October 1772 in the town of Ottery St Mary in Devon, England. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_14

Samuel's father was the Reverend John Coleridge (1718–1781), the well-respected vicar of St Mary's Church, Ottery St Mary and was headmaster of the King's School, a free grammar school established by King Henry VIII (1509–1547) in the town. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_15

He had previously been master of Hugh Squier's School in South Molton, Devon, and lecturer of nearby Molland. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_16

John Coleridge had three children by his first wife. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_17

Samuel was the youngest of ten by the Reverend Mr. Coleridge's second wife, Anne Bowden (1726–1809), probably the daughter of John Bowden, Mayor of South Molton, Devon, in 1726. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_18

Coleridge suggests that he "took no pleasure in boyish sports" but instead read "incessantly" and played by himself. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_19

After John Coleridge died in 1781, 8-year-old Samuel was sent to Christ's Hospital, a charity school which was founded in the 16th century in Greyfriars, London, where he remained throughout his childhood, studying and writing poetry. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_20

At that school Coleridge became friends with Charles Lamb, a schoolmate, and studied the works of Virgil and William Lisle Bowles. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_21

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." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_22

Coleridge seems to have appreciated his teacher, as he wrote in recollections of his school days in Biographia Literaria: Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_23

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." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_24

From 1791 until 1794, Coleridge attended Jesus College, Cambridge. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_25

In 1792, he won the Browne Gold Medal for an ode that he wrote on the slave trade. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_26

In December 1793, he left the college and enlisted in the 15th (The King's) Light Dragoons using the false name "Silas Tomkyn Comberbache", perhaps because of debt or because the girl that he loved, Mary Evans, had rejected him. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_27

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 the university. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_28

Pantisocracy and marriage Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_1

Cambridge and Somerset Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_2

At Jesus College, Coleridge was introduced to political and theological ideas then considered radical, including those of the poet Robert Southey with whom he collaborated on the play The Fall of Robespierre. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_29

Coleridge joined Southey in a plan, later abandoned, to found a utopian commune-like society, called Pantisocracy, in the wilderness of Pennsylvania. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_30

In 1795, the two friends married sisters Sara and Edith Fricker, in St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol, but Coleridge's marriage with Sara proved unhappy. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_31

He grew to detest his wife, whom he married mainly because of social constraints. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_32

Following the birth of their fourth child, he eventually separated from her. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_33

A third sister, Mary, had already married a third poet Robert Lovell and both became partners in Pantisocracy. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_34

Lovell also introduced Coleridge and Southey to their future patron Joseph Cottle but died of a fever in April 1796. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_35

Coleridge was with him at his death. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_36

In 1796 he released his first volume of poems entitled Poems on various subjects, which also included four poems by Charles Lamb as well as a collaboration with Robert Southey and a work suggested by his and Lamb's schoolfriend Robert Favell. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_37

Among the poems were Religious Musings, Monody on the Death of Chatterton and an early version of The Eolian Harp entitled Effusion 35. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_38

A second edition was printed in 1797, this time including an appendix of works by Lamb and Charles Lloyd, a young poet to whom Coleridge had become a private tutor. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_39

In 1796 he also privately printed Sonnets from Various Authors, including sonnets by Lamb, Lloyd, Southey and himself as well as older poets such as William Lisle Bowles. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_40

Coleridge made plans to establish a journal, The Watchman, to be printed every eight days to avoid a weekly newspaper tax. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_41

The first issue of the short-lived journal was published in March 1796. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_42

It had ceased publication by May of that year. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_43

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_44

In 1795, Coleridge met poet William Wordsworth and his sister Dorothy. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_45

(Wordsworth, having visited him and being enchanted by the surroundings, rented Alfoxton Park, a little over three miles [5 km] away.) Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_46

Besides The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge 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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_47

The writing of Kubla Khan, written about the Mongol emperor Kublai Khan and his legendary palace at Xanadu, 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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_48

During this period, he also produced his much-praised "conversation poems" This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison, Frost at Midnight, and The Nightingale. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_49

In 1798, Coleridge and Wordsworth published a joint volume of poetry, Lyrical Ballads, which proved to be the starting point for the English romantic age. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_50

Wordsworth may have contributed more poems, but the real star of the collection was Coleridge's first version of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_51

It was the longest work and drew more praise and attention than anything else in the volume. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_52

In the spring Coleridge temporarily took over for Rev. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_53

Joshua Toulmin at Taunton's Mary Street Unitarian Chapel while Rev. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_54

Toulmin grieved over the drowning death of his daughter Jane. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_55

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_56

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). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_57

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." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_58

The West Midlands and the North Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_3

Travel and The Friend Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_4

In 1804, he travelled to Sicily and Malta, working for a time as Acting Public Secretary of Malta under the Civil Commissioner, Alexander Ball, a task he performed successfully. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_59

He lived in San Anton Palace in the village of Attard. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_60

He gave this up and returned to England in 1806. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_61

Dorothy Wordsworth was shocked at his condition upon his return. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_62

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_63

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_64

It has been suggested that this reflects De Quincey's own experiences more than Coleridge's. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_65

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 Sara 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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_66

His addiction caused severe constipation, which required regular and humiliating enemas. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_67

In 1809, Coleridge made his second attempt to become a newspaper publisher with the publication of the journal entitled The Friend. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_68

It was a weekly publication that, in Coleridge's typically ambitious style, was written, edited, and published almost entirely single-handedly. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_69

Given that Coleridge tended to be highly disorganised and had no head for business, the publication was probably doomed from the start. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_70

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", Tom Poole and one or two other wealthy friends for an emergency loan to continue. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_71

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_72

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_73

Years after its initial publication, a revised and expanded edition of The Friend, with added philosophical content including his 'Essays on the Principles of Method', became a highly influential work and its effect was felt on writers and philosophers from John Stuart Mill to Ralph Waldo Emerson. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_74

London: final years and death Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_5

Between 1810 and 1820, Coleridge gave a series of lectures in London and Bristol – those on Shakespeare renewed interest in the playwright as a model for contemporary writers. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_75

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_76

These lectures were heralded in the prospectus as "A Course of Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, in Illustration of the Principles of Poetry." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_77

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_78

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_79

However, it was the lecture on Hamlet given on 2 January 1812 that was considered the best and has influenced Hamlet studies ever since. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_80

Before Coleridge, Hamlet was often denigrated and belittled by critics from Voltaire to Dr. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_81 Johnson. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_82

Coleridge rescued the play's reputation, and his thoughts on it are often still published as supplements to the text. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_83

In 1812 he allowed Robert Southey to make use of extracts from his vast number of private notebooks in their collaboration Omniana; Or, Horae Otiosiores. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_84

In August 1814, Coleridge was approached by Lord Byron's publisher, John Murray, about the possibility of translating Goethe's classic Faust (1808). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_85

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_86

Until recently, scholars were in agreement that Coleridge never returned to the project, despite Goethe's own belief in the 1820s that he had in fact completed a long translation of the work. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_87

In September 2007, Oxford University Press sparked a heated scholarly controversy by publishing an English translation of Goethe's work that purported to be Coleridge's long-lost masterpiece (the text in question first appeared anonymously in 1821). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_88

Between 1814 and 1816, Coleridge lived in Calne, Wiltshire and seemed able to focus on his work and manage his addiction, drafting Biographia Literaria. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_89

He rented rooms from a local surgeon, Mr Page, on Church Street, just opposite the entrance to the churchyard. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_90

A blue plaque marks the property today. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_91

In April 1816, Coleridge, with his addiction worsening, his spirits depressed, and his family alienated, took residence in the Highgate homes, then just north of London, of the physician James Gillman, first at South Grove and later at the nearby 3 The Grove. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_92

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_93

Gillman was partially successful in controlling the poet's addiction. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_94

Coleridge remained in Highgate for the rest of his life, and the house became a place of literary pilgrimage for writers including Carlyle and Emerson. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_95

In Gillman's home, Coleridge finished his major prose work, the Biographia Literaria (mostly drafted in 1815, and finished in 1817), a volume composed of 23 chapters of autobiographical notes and dissertations on various subjects, including some incisive literary theory and criticism. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_96

He composed a considerable amount of poetry, of variable quality. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_97

He published other writings while he was living at the Gillman homes, notably the Lay Sermons of 1816 and 1817, Sibylline Leaves (1817), Hush (1820), Aids to Reflection (1825), and On the Constitution of the Church and State (1830). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_98

He also produced essays published shortly after his death, such as Essay on Faith (1838) and Confessions of an Inquiring Spirit (1840). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_99

A number of his followers were central to the Oxford Movement, and his religious writings profoundly shaped Anglicanism in the mid-nineteenth century. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_100

Coleridge also worked extensively on the various manuscripts which form his "Opus Maximum", a work which was in part intended as a post-Kantian work of philosophical synthesis. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_101

The work was never published in his lifetime, and has frequently been seen as evidence for his tendency to conceive grand projects which he then had difficulty in carrying through to completion. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_102

But while he frequently berated himself for his "indolence", the long list of his published works calls this myth into question. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_103

Critics are divided on whether the "Opus Maximum", first published in 2002, successfully resolved the philosophical issues he had been exploring for most of his adult life. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_104

Coleridge 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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_105

Coleridge had spent 18 years under the roof of the Gillman family, who built an addition onto their home to accommodate the poet. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_106

Carlyle described him at Highgate: "Coleridge sat on the brow of Highgate Hill, in those years, looking down on London and its smoke-tumult, like a sage escaped from the inanity of life's battle ... Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_107

The practical intellects of the world did not much heed him, or carelessly reckoned him a metaphysical dreamer: but to the rising spirits of the young generation he had this dusky sublime character; and sat there as a kind of Magus, girt in mystery and enigma; his Dodona oak-grove (Mr. Gilman's house at Highgate) whispering strange things, uncertain whether oracles or jargon." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_108

Remains Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_6

Coleridge is buried in the aisle of St. Michael's Parish Church in Highgate, London. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_109

He was originally buried at Old Highgate Chapel but was re-interred in St. Michael's in 1961. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_110

Coleridge could see the red door of the then new church from his last residence across the green, where he lived with a doctor he had hoped might cure him (in a house owned today by Kate Moss). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_111

When it was discovered Coleridge's vault had become derelict, the coffins – Coleridge's and those of his wife, daughter, son-in-law, and grandson – were moved to St. Michael's after an international fundraising appeal. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_112

Drew Clode, a member of St. Michael's stewardship committee states, "they put the coffins in a convenient space which was dry and secure, and quite suitable, bricked them up and forgot about them". Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_113

A recent excavation revealed the coffins were not in the location most believed, the far corner of the crypt, but actually below a memorial slab in the nave inscribed with: "Beneath this stone lies the body of Samuel Taylor Coleridge". Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_114

St. Michael's plans to restore the crypt and allow public access. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_115

Says vicar Kunle Ayodeji of the plans: "...we hope that the whole crypt can be cleared as a space for meetings and other uses, which would also allow access to Coleridge’s cellar." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_116

Poetry Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_7

Coleridge is one of the most important figures in English poetry. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_117

His poems directly and deeply influenced all the major poets of the age. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_118

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_119

His influence on Wordsworth is particularly important because many critics have credited Coleridge with the very idea of "Conversational Poetry". Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_120

The idea of utilising 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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_121

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_122

As important as Coleridge was to poetry as a poet, he was equally important to poetry as a critic. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_123

His philosophy of poetry, which he developed over many years, has been deeply influential in the field of literary criticism. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_124

This influence can be seen in such critics as A. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_125 O. Lovejoy and I. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_126 A. Richards. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_127

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel, and Kubla Khan Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_8

Coleridge is arguably best known for his longer poems, particularly The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Christabel. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_128

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" (usually rendered as "a sadder but wiser man"). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_129

The phrase "All creatures great and small" may have been inspired by The Rime: "He prayeth best, who loveth best;/ All things both great and small;/ For the dear God who loveth us;/ He made and loveth all." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_130

Christabel is known for its musical rhythm, language, and its Gothic tale. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_131

Kubla Khan, or, A Vision in a Dream, A Fragment, although shorter, is also widely known. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_132

Both Kubla Khan and Christabel have an additional "Romantic" aura because they were never finished. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_133

Stopford Brooke characterised both poems as having no rival due to their "exquisite metrical movement" and "imaginative phrasing." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_134

The Conversation poems Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_9

Main article: Conversation poems Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_135

The eight of Coleridge's poems listed above are now often discussed as a group entitled "Conversation poems". Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_136

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_137

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." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_138

They are also among his most influential poems, as discussed further below. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_139

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". Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_140

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'." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_141

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." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_142

The speaker of the poem is addressing his infant son, asleep by his side: Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_143

In 1965, M. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_144 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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_145

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_146

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." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_147

In fact, Abrams was describing both the Conversation poems and later poems influenced by them. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_148

Abrams' essay has been called a "touchstone of literary criticism". Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_149

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_150

Auden." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_151

Literary criticism Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_10

Biographia Literaria Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_11

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_152

The work delivered both biographical explanations of the author's life as well as his impressions on literature. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_153

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_154

Coleridge's explanation of metaphysical principles were popular topics of discourse in academic communities throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, and T.S. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_155 Eliot stated that he believed that Coleridge was "perhaps the greatest of English critics, and in a sense the last." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_156

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_157

However, Eliot also criticises 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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_158

Hugh Kenner in Historical Fictions, discusses Norman Fruman's Coleridge, the Damaged Archangel and suggests that the term "criticism" is too often applied to Biographia Literaria, which both he and Fruman describe as having failed to explain or help the reader understand works of art. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_159

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_160

In Biographia Literaria and his poetry, symbols are not merely "objective correlatives" to Coleridge, but instruments for making the universe and personal experience intelligible and spiritually covalent. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_161

To Coleridge, the "cinque spotted spider," making its way upstream "by fits and starts," [Biographia Literaria] is not merely a comment on the intermittent nature of creativity, imagination, or spiritual progress, but the journey and destination of his life. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_162

The spider's five legs represent the central problem that Coleridge lived to resolve, the conflict between Aristotelian logic and Christian philosophy. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_163

Two legs of the spider represent the "me-not me" of thesis and antithesis, the idea that a thing cannot be itself and its opposite simultaneously, the basis of the clockwork Newtonian world view that Coleridge rejected. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_164

The remaining three legs—exothesis, mesothesis and synthesis or the Holy trinity—represent the idea that things can diverge without being contradictory. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_165

Taken together, the five legs—with synthesis in the center, form the Holy Cross of Ramist logic. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_166

The cinque-spotted spider is Coleridge's emblem of holism, the quest and substance of Coleridge's thought and spiritual life. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_167

Coleridge and the influence of the Gothic Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_12

Coleridge wrote reviews of Ann Radcliffe's books and The Mad Monk, among others. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_168

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_169

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_170

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." Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_171

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_172

Poems like these both drew inspiration from and helped to inflame the craze for Gothic romance. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_173

Coleridge also made considerable use of Gothic elements in his commercially successful play Remorse. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_174

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. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_175

Although William Godwin, her father, disagreed with Coleridge on some important issues, he respected his opinions and Coleridge often visited the Godwins. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_176

Mary Shelley later recalled hiding behind the sofa and hearing his voice chanting The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_177

C. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_178 S. Lewis also makes mention of his name in The Screwtape Letters (as a poor example of prayer, in which the devils should encourage). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_179

Religious beliefs Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_13

Although his father was an Anglican vicar, Coleridge worked as a Unitarian preacher between 1796 and 1797. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_180

He eventually returned to the Church of England in 1814. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_181

His most noteworthy writings on religion are Lay Sermons (1817), Aids to Reflection (1825) and The Constitution of Church and State (1830). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_182

Theological legacy Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_14

Despite being mostly remembered today for his poetry and literary criticism, Coleridge was also (perhaps in his own eyes primarily) a theologian. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_183

His writings include discussions of the status of scripture, the doctrines of the Fall, justification and sanctification, and the personality and infinity of God. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_184

A key figure in the Anglican theology of his day, his writings are still regularly referred to by contemporary Anglican theologians. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_185

F. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_186 D. Maurice, F. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_187 J. A. Hort, F. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_188 W. Robertson, B. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_189 F. Westcott, John Oman and Thomas Erskine (once called the "Scottish Coleridge") were all influenced by him. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_190

Political thinking Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_15

Coleridge was also a profound political thinker. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_191

While he began his life as a political radical, and an enthusiast for the French Revolution, over the years Coleridge developed a more conservative view of society, somewhat in the manner of Burke. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_192

Although seen as cowardly treachery by the next generation of Romantic poets, Coleridge's later thought became a fruitful source for the evolving radicalism of J. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_193 S. Mill. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_194

Mill found three aspects of Coleridge's thought especially illuminating: Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_195

Samuel Taylor Coleridge_ordered_list_0

  1. First, there was Coleridge's insistence on what he called "the Idea" behind an institution – its social function, in later terminology – as opposed to the possible flaws in its actual implementation. Coleridge sought to understand meaning from within a social matrix, not outside it, using an imaginative reconstruction of the past (Verstehen) or of unfamiliar systems.Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_0_0
  2. Secondly, Coleridge explored the necessary conditions for social stability – what he termed Permanence, in counterbalance to Progress, in a polity – stressing the importance of a shared public sense of community, and national education.Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_0_1
  3. Coleridge also usefully employed the organic metaphor of natural growth to shed light on the historical development of British history, as exemplified in the common law tradition – working his way thereby towards a sociology of jurisprudence.Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_0_2

Collected works Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_16

The current standard edition is The Collected Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, edited by Kathleen Coburn and many others from 1969 to 2002. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_196

This collection appeared across 16 volumes as Bollingen Series 75, published variously by Princeton University Press and Routledge & Kegan Paul. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_197

The set is broken down as follows into further parts, resulting in a total of 34 separate printed volumes: Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_198

Samuel Taylor Coleridge_ordered_list_1

  1. Lectures 1795 on Politics and Religion (1971);Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_3
  2. The Watchman (1970);Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_4
  3. Essays on his Times in the Morning Post and the Courier (1978) in 3 vols;Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_5
  4. The Friend (1969) in 2 vols;Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_6
  5. Lectures, 1808–1819, on Literature (1987) in 2 vols;Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_7
  6. Lay Sermons (1972);Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_8
  7. Biographia Literaria (1983) in 2 vols;Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_9
  8. Lectures 1818–1819 on the History of Philosophy (2000) in 2 vols;Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_10
  9. Aids to Reflection (1993);Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_11
  10. On the Constitution of the Church and State (1976);Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_12
  11. Shorter Works and Fragments (1995) in 2 vols;Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_13
  12. Marginalia (1980 and following) in 6 vols;Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_14
  13. Logic (1981);Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_15
  14. Table Talk (1990) in 2 vols;Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_16
  15. Opus Maximum (2002);Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_17
  16. Poetical Works (2001) in 6 vols (part 1 – Reading Edition in 2 vols; part 2 – Variorum Text in 2 vols; part 3 – Plays in 2 vols).Samuel Taylor Coleridge_item_1_18

In addition, Coleridge's letters are available in: The Collected Letters of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1956–71), ed. Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_199

Earl Leslie Griggs, 6 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon Press). Samuel Taylor Coleridge_sentence_200

See also Samuel Taylor Coleridge_section_17

Samuel Taylor Coleridge_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel Taylor Coleridge.