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Biographia Literaria



A volume composed of 23 chapters of autobiographical notes and dissertations on various subjects.

So wenig er auch bestimmt seyn mag, andere zu belehren, so wuenscht er doch sich denen mitzutheilen, die er sich gleichgesinnt weis, (oder hofft,) deren Anzahl aber in der Breite der Welt zerstreut ist; er wuenscht sein Verhaeltniss zu den aeltesten Freunden dadurch wieder anzuknuepfen, mit neuen es fortzusetzen, und in der letzten Generation sich wieder andere fur seine uebrige Lebenszeit zu gewinnen. Er wuenscht der Jugend die Umwege zu ersparen, auf denen er sich selbst verirrte. (Goethe. Einleitung in die Propylaeen.)

Translation: Little call as he may have to instruct others, he wishes nevertheless to open out his heart to such as he either knows or hopes to be of like mind with himself, but who are widely scattered in the world: he wishes to knit anew his connections with his oldest friends, to continue those recently formed, and to win other friends among the rising generation for the remaining course of his life. He wishes to spare the young those circuitous paths, on which he himself had lost his way.--Goethe, Introduction to the Propylaeen

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was not second even to Shakespeare if you consider poetic genius alone. In sheer poetic beauty, some stanzas of 'The rhyme of the Ancient mariner' excel even Shakespeare's. As a member of the group of 'lake poets', together with Wordsworth, Coleridge helped to usher in the era of romanticism in English poetry. Towards the second half of his literary career, he turned his attention to literary criticism and philosophy. "Biographia Literaria" is not only his magnum opus in the domain of prose, but one of the most widely celebrated books in the domain of literary criticism in English language. In my opinion, it is a 'must read' for any serious student of English literature.--Submitted by Anonymous

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Poem and Poetry: WHat is the difference?

Coleridge in Biogaphia Literaria Chapter 14, writes about poem and poetry. He defined what is Poem, but did not throw more light on what is Poetry. Can any body help me calrifying the mist of cloud shrouding the difference between Poem and Poetry? Thanks Dilip Barad

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