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Selected Poetry and Prose

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Selected poetry and prose of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.


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Selected poetry and prose of Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

30 review for Selected Poetry and Prose

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Harmonybites)

    I think Keats spoiled me for lesser romantic poets. Shakespeare and Donne often leaven their romantic flights of fancy with twists and twitting of conventions. Keats to me seemed to embrace them but with such freshness of expression and sheer beauty I forgave him. Almost all of the poems by Coleridge in this volume (according to the editor in the introduction all by him that is worthy of attention by a general reader) felt like exercises in poetic cliches. There are three poems cited as his grea I think Keats spoiled me for lesser romantic poets. Shakespeare and Donne often leaven their romantic flights of fancy with twists and twitting of conventions. Keats to me seemed to embrace them but with such freshness of expression and sheer beauty I forgave him. Almost all of the poems by Coleridge in this volume (according to the editor in the introduction all by him that is worthy of attention by a general reader) felt like exercises in poetic cliches. There are three poems cited as his greatest included here, "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner," "Christabel" and "Kubla Khan" and each certainly does have resonant lines. There are certainly many famous lines in The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, one of Coleridge's longer works: “Water, water, everywhere And all the boards did shrink Water, water everywhere Nor any drop to drink.” I can't quite savor this poem though--probably bad associations from it being forced upon me in school, but it doesn't sing to me. "Christabel," which was never finished was... interesting--because it seemed to have such an obvious erotic subtext between two women--and I'm not the kind that usually reads that sort of thing into literature: "Beneath the lamp the lady bowed, And slowly rolled her eyes around; Then drawing in her breath aloud, Like one that shuddered, she unbound The cincture from beneath her breast: Her silken robe, and inner vest, Dropped to her feet, and full in view, Behold! her bosom and half her side- A sight to dream of, not to tell! O shield her! shield sweet Christabel!” That hasn't been lost on critics and looking it up I've seen "Christabel" described as a "Lesbian Vampire" tale. However, there's a quality of WTF to that given what I read of Coleridge's literary criticism. There's a lot in his prose works that made Coleridge sound like a rather priggish moralist to me. Two-thirds of this volume consists of prose writings by Coleridge, largely on the subject of poetry and drama, particularly Shakespeare. And Milton--of whom Coleridge said that in his Eve in Paradise Lost Milton had written the epitome of female characterizations. I read Paradise Lost a few months ago--and it was among the most misogynist works I've ever read. Coleridge's comments on Shakespeare's female characters also often made me think he was the opposite of a feminist. I find it impossible to believe Coleridge meant a lesbian or feminist context in "Christabel." And when you feel a poet is truly clueless about the meanings in his own poem, it's hard to respect him. Then there's "Kubla Khan" and I do have to admit I find it resonant and enchanting--my favorite poem in the book despite that, like "Christabel," it's essentially a uncompleted fragment: "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan A stately pleasure-dome decree: Where Alph, the sacred river, ran Through caverns measureless to man Down to a sunless sea." That poem for me was the best of it. Unlike with Donne, Shakespeare and Keats, I didn't discover here new and unfamiliar poems that delighted me. In fact, I might have rated this book even lower, were it not that I did find a lot of Coleridge's Shakespeare criticism of interest.

  2. 4 out of 5

    russell barnes

    Christ, no wonder my Poetry and Revolution essays at college were so piss-poor! It's taken me almost a year to finish this collection (admittedly only dipping in every now and then), and reading the prose took me back 15 years to those halcyon times sat in a hot lecture room, listening to Wynn Thomas, but not understanding a single. word. he. said. Some of the poems were beautiful, particularly Frost at Midnight, This Lime-Tree My Bower My Prison, and Answer to a Child's Question, whilst Cologne Christ, no wonder my Poetry and Revolution essays at college were so piss-poor! It's taken me almost a year to finish this collection (admittedly only dipping in every now and then), and reading the prose took me back 15 years to those halcyon times sat in a hot lecture room, listening to Wynn Thomas, but not understanding a single. word. he. said. Some of the poems were beautiful, particularly Frost at Midnight, This Lime-Tree My Bower My Prison, and Answer to a Child's Question, whilst Cologne made me unexpectedly laugh, and his letters were quite readable but blimey, Biographia Literaria and his lit criticism were hard work and have made me seriously reconsider any return to academia.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Zoe's Human

    My rating in no way reflects on the actual writing of Mr. Coleridge. That is exemplary. However, I just don't care for him much. I find his essays of little interest and a bit dry. The only time they spark any genuine emotional response in me is when he engages in elitist commentary on the harm done to literature by the masses being able to read. Doubtless, he would consider my reaction to be precisely part of the problem of the common folk thinking they are literate. As for his poetry, it is inc My rating in no way reflects on the actual writing of Mr. Coleridge. That is exemplary. However, I just don't care for him much. I find his essays of little interest and a bit dry. The only time they spark any genuine emotional response in me is when he engages in elitist commentary on the harm done to literature by the masses being able to read. Doubtless, he would consider my reaction to be precisely part of the problem of the common folk thinking they are literate. As for his poetry, it is incredible well-written, but much of it is far too sentimental for me and more often than not, it sermonizes a faith that I do not share. With that said, I loved "Fears in Solitude".

  4. 4 out of 5

    philosovamp

    Coleridge is probably my favorite poet, and there's a lot of really great poems in this volume. I then discovered he's not my favorite critic or theorist or philosopher or any of the other shit he was doing in Biographia. Interesting though, respectable though. Still interested in a biography or two. Coleridge is probably my favorite poet, and there's a lot of really great poems in this volume. I then discovered he's not my favorite critic or theorist or philosopher or any of the other shit he was doing in Biographia. Interesting though, respectable though. Still interested in a biography or two.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lysergius

    A decent selection from an enormous volume of work.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elisa Rice

  7. 4 out of 5

    Viviana D. Otero

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lemonita

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lelisia

  11. 5 out of 5

    Scott

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

  13. 5 out of 5

    Cristina

  14. 4 out of 5

    Luna

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hanni

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tedb0t

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Seiler

  18. 5 out of 5

    Shilpa das

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paola

  20. 4 out of 5

    Casey

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jinx:The:Poet {the Literary Masochist, Ink Ninja & Word Roamer}

  22. 5 out of 5

    Edward Grey Seville

  23. 5 out of 5

    Adam Bruno

  24. 5 out of 5

    James Dias

  25. 4 out of 5

    W.B.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dean

  27. 4 out of 5

    Christof

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jascha

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kip

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