Regency Man Monday: The Poets – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (21 October 1772 – 25 July 1834) was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria. His critical work, especially on Shakespeare, was highly influential, and he helped introduce German idealist philosophy to English-speaking culture. Coleridge coined many familiar words and phrases, including suspension of disbelief. He was a major influence on Emerson and American transcendentalism.

 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. He was physically unhealthy, which may have stemmed from a bout of rheumatic fever and other childhood illnesses. He was treated for these conditions with laudanum, which fostered a lifelong opium addiction.

While I love both The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla Khan I went with the following poem:

Answer to a Child’s Question 

Do you ask what the birds say? The Sparrow, the Dove, The Linnet and Thrush say, “I love and I love!” In the winter they’re silent—the wind is so strong; What it says, I don’t know, but it sings a loud song. But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm weather, And singing, and loving—all come back together. But the Lark is so brimful of gladness and love, The green fields below him, the blue sky above, That he sings, and he sings; and for ever sings he— “I love my Love, and my Love loves me!”

Further reading:
Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Wikipedia
Samuel Taylor Coleridge – poets.org
Samuel Taylor Coleridge – The Poetry Foundation
Samuel Taylor Coleridge – Britannica

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s