Samuel Taylor Coleridge


Easton Press Samuel Taylor Coleridge books

Poems of Samuel Taylor Coleridge - Library of Great Poetry - 1995
The Rime of The Ancient Mariner - Library of Famous Editions - 2004
Poems - 6 Volume Great British Poetry set - 2010

Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, born on October 21, 1772, in Ottery St Mary, Devon, England, was a visionary poet, critic, and philosopher of the Romantic era. His life and work left an indelible mark on English literature, particularly in collaboration with his friend William Wordsworth and through his influential poems and philosophical writings. Coleridge's childhood was marked by tragedy, losing his father when he was just nine years old. He attended Jesus College, Cambridge, but left without completing his degree due to financial difficulties. Despite this, he developed a keen interest in literature, philosophy, and the German Romantic movement.

In 1795, Coleridge met Wordsworth, and their collaboration produced the groundbreaking collection Lyrical Ballads (1798). Coleridge's contributions, including The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, showcased his imaginative and symbolic style. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner remains one of his most celebrated works, exploring themes of guilt, redemption, and the supernatural.

Coleridge's life was marked by personal challenges, including struggles with opium addiction, financial difficulties, and strained relationships. His opium use, in particular, had a significant impact on his health and creative output. In addition to his poetry, Coleridge made substantial contributions to literary criticism, coining the term "suspension of disbelief" and publishing the influential work Biographia Literaria (1817). His philosophical thoughts, often rooted in German idealism and transcendentalism, influenced later generations of writers and thinkers. Despite facing personal hardships, Coleridge's intellectual prowess continued to shine, and he maintained friendships with literary figures such as Charles Lamb and Thomas De Quincey. His lectures on Shakespeare became well-regarded, showcasing his deep understanding of literature.

One of the major figures of English Romanticism, Samuel Taylor Coleridge created works of remarkable diversity and imaginative genius. The period of his creative friendship with William Wordsworth inspired some of Coleridge’s best-known poems, from the nightmarish vision of the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and the opium-inspired "Kubla Khan" to the sombre passion of "Dejection: An Ode" and the medieval ballad "Christabel." His meditative ‘conversation’ poems, such as "Frost at Midnight" and "This Lime-Tree Bower Mr Prison," reflect on remembrance and solitude, while late works, such as "Youth and Age" and "Constancy to an Ideal Object," are haunting meditations on mortality and lost love.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge passed away on July 25, 1834, leaving a complex legacy as a brilliant poet, critic, and philosopher. His impact on the Romantic movement, his contributions to literary theory, and the enduring power of his poetry have solidified his place in the canon of English literature.

Kubla Khan analysis

Kubla Khan is one of Samuel Taylor Coleridge's most famous and enigmatic poems, written in 1797 but not published until 1816. The poem is often regarded as a masterpiece of Romantic poetry and is known for its rich imagery, dreamlike atmosphere, and exploration of the creative process. The poem begins with an introduction describing the palace of Kubla Khan, the Mongol ruler and founder of the Yuan dynasty, who ruled over China in the 13th century. Coleridge vividly depicts the beauty and grandeur of Kubla Khan's palace and gardens. The poet, however, claims that he is unable to provide a complete description of this magnificent place due to a disruption.

The second part of the poem shifts to the poet's own contemplation of artistic creation. Coleridge describes a vision or dream he had of a beautiful woman who played a dulcimer and sang of Mount Abora. The poet expresses his frustration at being unable to fully capture and recreate the vision in his waking life. The poem concludes with a sense of loss and longing for the creative inspiration that was interrupted. What adds an extra layer of intrigue to Kubla Khan is Coleridge's assertion that the poem was composed during an opium-influenced dream. He claimed to have had a vision of the poem in its entirety but was interrupted by a visitor, possibly a man from the nearby town of Porlock. As a result, Coleridge could not remember the remaining lines that he had envisioned. Kubla Khan is celebrated for its lush and vivid imagery, as well as its exploration of the artistic imagination. It has sparked numerous interpretations and analyses, with scholars and readers delving into its symbolism, themes of creativity, and the relationship between dreams and reality. The poem's mysterious and fragmented nature has contributed to its enduring fascination and reputation as a classic of English literature.

Frost at Midnight

Frost at Midnight is a reflective and introspective poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798. It is one of the "conversation poems," a series of poems that Coleridge wrote in a contemplative and conversational style. Frost at Midnight is notable for its themes of nature, childhood, and the meditative power of the natural world. The poem begins with the speaker, presumably Coleridge himself, sitting by the fire on a frosty winter night. He reflects on the silence and stillness of the scene, interrupted only by the ticking of the clock and the occasional hooting of an owl. The setting provides a backdrop for the speaker's contemplation of his own life and the future of his infant son, who sleeps in the cradle beside him. As the speaker gazes into the fire, he becomes absorbed in his own thoughts. He reflects on his own childhood and the influence of nature on his imaginative and spiritual development. The speaker expresses a desire for his son to experience a more harmonious and connected relationship with nature, free from the constraints and hardships that the speaker himself faced in his youth.

The poem explores the idea of the healing and restorative power of nature, suggesting that a close connection with the natural world can have a positive impact on the human spirit. Coleridge also touches upon themes of parental love and the hope for a better future for the next generation. Overall, Frost at Midnight is a contemplative and personal poem that combines elements of nature poetry, meditation, and autobiographical reflection. It is celebrated for its lyrical beauty, its exploration of the restorative power of nature, and its insights into the human experience.

The Rime of The Ancient Mariner

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (originally "The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere") is the longest major poem by the English poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge, written circa 1797 and published in 1798 in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads. Modern editions use a later revised version printed in 1817 and featuring a gloss. Along with other poems in Lyrical Ballads, it was a signal shift to modern poetry and the beginning of British Romantic literature.
It relates the events experienced by a mariner who has returned from a long sea voyage. The Mariner stops a man on his way to a wedding ceremony and begins to narrate a story. The Wedding-Guest's reaction turns from bemusement to impatience, fear, and fascination as the Mariner's story progresses, as can be seen in the language style: for example, the use of narrative techniques such as personification and repetition to create a sense of danger, or the supernatural, or serenity, depending on the mood each different part of the poem.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772–1834) was an English poet, critic and philosopher who was, along with his friend William Wordsworth, one of the founders of the Romantic Movement in England, and one of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner' (1792) and 'Kubla Khan' (1816), as well as his major prose work 'Biographia Literaria' (1817).

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