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Thread: What inspired Coleridge????

  1. #1

    What inspired Coleridge????

    Hi guys,

    Im new to the site and this is my first post!! Im into the romantics and im writing a bit of an essay on Coleridge. Im looking into what inspired him in his literary career. Im going to be looking at most of his poetry, but i want to look into Biographia Literaria aswell.

    What do you guys think about the topic of inspiration concerning Coleridge??

  2. #2
    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    To Lee Kane: Since you ask the question, since I realized I hadn't a clue; I'll try to inspire an answer. First a quote from STC on elder and modern poetry: ........"One great distinction, I appeared to myself to see plainly, between, even the characteristic faults of our elder poets, and the false beauty of the moderns. In the former, from DONNE to COWLEY, we find the most fantastic out-of-the-way thoughts, but in the most pure and genuine mother English; in the latter, the most obvious thoughts, in language the most fantastic and arbitrary. Our faulty elder poets sacrificed the passion and passionate flow of poetry, to the subtleties of intellect, and to the starts of wit; the moderns to the glare and glitter of a perpetual, yet broken and heterogeneous imagery, or rather to an amphibious something, made up, half of image, and half of abstract (STC's footnote) meaning. The one sacrificed the heart to the head, the other both heart and head to point and drapery."

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    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    "The passion being in an inverse proportion to the insight, that the more vivid, as this the less distince; anger is the inevitable consequence. The absence of all foundation within their own minds for that which they yet believe both true and indispensable for their safety and happiness, cannot but produce an uneasy state of feeling, an involuntary sense of fear from which nature has no means of rescuing herself but by anger. Experience informs us that the first defence of weak minds is to recriminate." from
    Biographia Literaria, chapter II
    Last edited by quasimodo1; 10-31-2007 at 08:07 AM. Reason: chapter

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    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    Apologia pro Vita Sua/ a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    Samuel Taylor Coleridge
    Apologia pro Vita Sua


    The poet in his lone yet genial hour
    Gives to his eyes a magnifying power :
    Or rather he emancipates his eyes
    From the black shapeless accidents of size--
    In unctuous cones of kindling coal,
    Or smoke upwreathing from the pipe's trim bole,

    His gifted ken can see
    Phantoms of sublimity.

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    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    DUTY SURVIVING SELF-LOVE


    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.

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    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    "'Eheu? quam infortunii miserum est fuisse felicem!' (Alas, happiness is as possible as misery for the unfortunate). Coleridge wrote this Latin expression on his horse-stall while in the regiment. His commanding officer, having some scholarship, asked Coleridge if he wrote it. After confirming this, he separated from the military, being sent off with great applause, being well liked by his fellow soldiers. This parting informally began his literary life.

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    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    Life inspires Coleridge

    The Suicide's Argument by Samuel Coleridge
    Ere the birth of my life, if I wished it or no
    No question was asked me--it could not be so !
    If the life was the question, a thing sent to try
    And to live on be YES; what can NO be ? to die.

    NATURE'S ANSWER

    Is't returned, as 'twas sent ? Is't no worse for the wear ?
    Think first, what you ARE ! Call to mind what you WERE !
    I gave you innocence, I gave you hope,
    Gave health, and genius, and an ample scope,
    Return you me guilt, lethargy, despair ?
    Make out the invent'ry ; inspect, compare !
    Then die--if die you dare !

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    Registered User Karl Rommel's Avatar
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    Richard Holmes book 'Coleridge: Early Visions' is a good starting point, though you are quite deep in already with B.L.

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    Registered User quasimodo1's Avatar
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    “The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heart-felt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling” Coleridge

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