Samuel Taylor Coleridge Questions and Answers

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In what ways was Coleridge a Romantic poet?

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Given that Coleridge was, with Wordsworth, the actual definer of Romantic poetry (in Preface to Lyrical Ballads), with such utterances as “powerful emotion recollected in tranquility”, it comes as no surprise that virtually any of his poems you choose  (to say nothing of his “Biographia Literaria” and “Lectures on Shakespeare”) will reflect Romantic notions.  “Eve follows eve, /dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of Home/Is sweetest!” (from “To William Wordsworth”) gives the deep-rooted sense of calm in tranquility, for example.  His homage to Nature, to natural things, is expressed in such poems as “Thou Wind, that rav’st without,/ Bare crag, or mountain tairn, or blasted tree,/Or pine grove…” (from “Dejection An Ode”).  (In fact, “mountain’s crags” are favorite images of Coleridge).  The harkening back to chivralic times, a common feature of Romantic poetry, is seen in “Christabel”: “That I repent of me the day/When I spake words of fierce disdain/To Roland de Vaux of Tyremaine!” The Romantic view of storms is seen in his most famous poem, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” ("And now the storm-blast came, and he/Was tyrannous and strong”.  Everything about Coleridge’s approach to poetry gave witness to the basic principles of Romantic poetry as outlined in the Preface.

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