Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), English lyrical poet, critic, and philosopher, whose Lyrical Ballads,(1798) written with William Wordsworth, started the English Romantic movement.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Ottery St Mary, Devonshire, as the youngest son of the vicar of Ottery St Mary. After his father's death Coleridge was sent away to Christ's Hospital School in London. He also studied at Jesus College. In Cambridge Coleridge met the radical, future poet laureate Robert Southey. He moved with Southey to Bristol to establish a community, but the plan failed. In 1795 he married the sister of Southey's fiancée Sara Fricker, whom he did not really love.

Coleridge's collection Poems On Various Subjects was published in 1796, and in 1797 appeared Poems. In the same year he began the publication of a short-lived liberal political periodical The Watchman. He started a close friendship with Dorothy and William Wordsworth, one of the most fruitful creative relationships in English literature. From it resulted Lyrical Ballads, which opened with Coleridge's "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and ended with Wordsworth's "Tintern Abbey". These poems set a new style by using everyday language and fresh ways of looking at nature.

The brothers Josiah and Thomas Wedgewood granted Coleridge an annuity of 150 pounds, thus enabling him to pursue his literary career. Disenchanted with political developments in France, Coleridge visited Germany in 1798-99 with Dorothy and William Wordsworth, and became interested in the works of Immanuel Kant. He studied philosophy at Göttingen University and mastered the German language. At the end of 1799 Coleridge fell in love with Sara Hutchinson, the sister of Wordsworth's future wife, to whom he devoted his work "Dejection: An Ode" (1802). During these years Coleridge also began to compile his Notebooks, recording the daily meditations of his life. In 1809-10 he wrote and edited with Sara Hutchinson the literary and political magazine The Friend. From 1808 to 1818 he gave several lectures, chiefly in London, and was considered the greatest of Shakespearean critics. In 1810 Coleridge's friendship with Wordsworth came to a crisis, and the two poets never fully returned to the relationship they had earlier.

Suffering from neuralgic and rheumatic pains, Coleridge had become addicted to opium. During the following years he lived in London, on the verge of suicide. He found a permanent shelter in Highgate in the household of Dr. James Gillman, and enjoyed an almost legendary reputation among the younger Romantics. During this time he rarely left the house.

In 1816 the unfinished poems "Christabel" and "Kubla Khan" were published, and next year appeared "Sibylline Leaves". According to the poet, "Kubla Khan" was inspired by a dream vision. His most important production during this period was the Biographia Literaria(1817). After 1817 Coleridge devoted himself to theological and politico-sociological works. Coleridge was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1824. He died in Highgate, near London on July 25, 1834.

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Recent Forum Posts on Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Nature and the Human Heart

Ode: Intimations of Immortality – 11 And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves, Forebode not any severing of our loves! Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might; I only have relinquished one delight To live beneath your more habitual sway. I love the Brooks which down their channels fret, Even more than when I tripped lightly as they; The innocent brightness of a new-born Day Is lovely yet; The Clouds that gather round the setting sun Do take a sober colouring from an eye That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality; Another race hath been, and other palms are won. Thanks to the human heart by which we live, Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, To me the meanest flower that blows can give Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears. In this last passage of Wordsworth’s “Intimations of Immortality,” the speaker intimates his connection with nature and its correlation with mortality. Addressing the “Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,” he expresses his desire never to be disconnected from the natural world by asking them to “Forebode not any severing of loves” (lines 188-189)! The thought of no longer being part of the natural world upon his death is tragic for the speaker, but he marvels at the “might” he feels in his “heart of hearts” as a result of being in nature (190). In comparison to the myriad births and deaths to which nature is privy everyday, he realizes that he has “only…relinquished one delight / To live beneath more habitual sway” of nature – which is to say he had to forgo immortality by virtue of his birth in the natural world, which is more accustomed to life and death in a habitual sense (191-192). The speaker then goes on to compare “the Brooks which down their channels fret,” with his own experience as a child who “tripped lightly as they,” and concludes that he even loves the brooks more (193, 194). The next three lines juxtapose the “innocent brightness of a new-born Day” with “The Clouds that gather round the setting sun,” while between these two images is the three word phrase “Is lovely yet” (195-197). Dawn symbolizes birth which is then characterized by “brightness,” and sunset symbolizes death which is characterized by “Clouds” that “take a sober colouring from an eye / That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality” (198-199). The promise of birth is overshadowed for the speaker by an awareness of ever-present mortality. It is for this reason that the “meanest flower that blows can give / Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears;” the significance of mortality can be found even in a seemingly insignificant flower’s bloom (203-204). The speaker credits “the human heart by which we live” with the “tenderness,…joys, and fears” which enable us to see our own mortality in temporal nature (201-202).

The Men Who Stare at Goats - The ancient Mariner

In this movie, the character played by Clooney talk about this poem. He compares his story as the one of the ancient mariner. It's funny because the hero of the movie likes the nature and it is not surprising that he reads coleridge.

Share some verses

How many of you have read "Kubla Khan" by Coleridge? And what’s your favourite verse ? Well i have some and here they are, "A savage place ! as holy and enchanted As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted By woman wailing for her demon-lover !"

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner - my attempt at reading the poem

Like the title says, I recorded myself giving it a shot. You can hear it here: Let me know what you think. :D Cheers.

Motiveless malignancy?

Whats the name of the source/text/essay in which Coleridge described Iago's actions as 'Motiveless Malignancy'? I need the specific source for my scholarship exam tomorrow! Thanks!

help please!

I need to come up with a food that I can take into my class that is representative of Coleridge's life or his poetry. If anyone has any ideas they would be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!

can you come over plaes

:bawling: hello every body how are you? I hope you are fine I am a student in english literature college:) :) and I need your help so pleas do not disregard me now I will tell my problem:bawling: :bawling: I have a assignment which is about essay about the element of the narrative poetry found in Samuel Taylor coleridge's ((The Rime of Anciet of Mariner)) and this element is plot,sitting,them,character and the figure of speech. I can not find it because you know it is so long and I do not find time because I have a lot of exams and assignments :bawling: :bawling: I have to give it to the teacher at saturday so pleas I need your help thank you my dears for your attention

kubla khan-I get by with a little help from my friends

I need to interpret the last five lines of Kubla Khun for a lit class I’m doing as an independent study. I think there are several religious references and I also think that the “he” in line 50 is described with imagery from nature. But I really don’t know anything about interpreting poetry. Could someone please help me with this? How does the image of this person relate to romanticism?

Did Coleridge ever write in Greek?

Did Coleridge ever write in Greek? I found a paragraph somewhere and it looked like it was edited by Coleridge. But I thought he was English....

urgent help plz

I need help on my assignment and there a part where i have to explain his contribution of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's contribution to culture through their work and what critics have said about his work. (plz send me the original linkfor the critics part) help is much appreciated!! this assignment is due soon and I am stuck on this part. THANK YOU!!!!!

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