Biographia Literaria: Or, Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions
Despite the friendship and collaborations between Samuel Coleridge?and William Wordsworth, the pair were not completely compatible in their respective?literary visions. In his Biographia Literaria, Coleridge attempts to do?what Wordsworth did in Preface to the Lyrical Ballads: offer his perspective?on the value and nature of poetry. Throughout the piece, Coleridge draws?important distinctions between his poetic ideals and Wordsworth?s. One key?facet of Coleridge?s philosophy is his insistence on the necessity of?imagination which is more complex than many reader?s contemporary notions of?the imagination. Additionally, Coleridge establishes his view that good poetry?does not necessarily have to be written in "the language of men," as Wordsworth?suggested. For Coleridge, poetry should use diction that is lofty and more?beautiful than ordinary speech. Since its publication in 1817,?Biographia Literaria has become an?essential document in the study of English Romanticism.?
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answer appear association attention beauty become believe called cause character common compositions concerning consequence consists continued conversation criticism distinct effect English equally excellence excitement existence express fact fancy feelings force former genius German give greater ground hand heart human idea images imagination immediate important impression individual instance intelligible interest judgment kind knowledge language latter least less light lines living look meaning mere metre mind moral nature never notions object once opinions original pass passage perhaps person philosopher pleasure poem poet poetic poetry possess possible present principles produced prose prove reader reason reference remains result seemed sense soul speak spirit style supposed thing thought tion true truth understand whole Wordsworth writer
Page 172 - The primary IMAGINATION I hold to be the living Power and prime Agent of all human Perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM.
Page 179 - The poet, described in ideal perfection, brings th^. whole soul of man into activity, with the subordination of its faculties to each other, according to their relative worth and dignity. He diffuses a tone and spirit of unity, that blends, and, (as it were,) fuses, each into each, by that synthetic and magical power, to which we have exclusively appropriated the name of imagination.
Page 27 - Was it the proud full sail of his great verse, Bound for the prize of all too precious you, That did my ripe thoughts in my brain inhearse, Making their tomb the womb wherein they grew? Was it his spirit, by spirits taught to write Above a mortal pitch, that struck me dead?
Page 173 - Fancy, on the contrary, has no other counters to play with but fixities and definites. The fancy is indeed no other than a mode of memory emancipated from the order of time and space, while it is blended with, and modified by, that empirical phenomenon of the will which we express by the word choice. But equally with the ordinary memory the fancy must receive all its materials ready made from the law of association.
Page 276 - But for those first affections, Those shadowy recollections, Which, be they what they may, Are yet the fountain light of all our day, Are yet a master light of all our seeing; Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make Our noisy years seem moments in the being Of the eternal silence: truths that wake, To perish never...
Page 184 - Anon permit the basest clouds to ride With ugly rack on his celestial face, And from the forlorn world his visage hide, Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace...
Page 12 - ... bring up, so as to escape his censure. I learned from him that poetry, even that of the loftiest and, seemingly, that of the wildest odes, had a logic of its own, as severe as that of science ; and more difficult, because more subtle, more complex, and dependent on more, and more fugitive, causes. In the truly great poets, he would say, there is a reason assignable, not only for every word, but for the position of every word...
Page 275 - Heaven lies about us in our infancy ! Shades of the prison-house begin to close Upon the growing boy ; But he beholds the light, and whence it flows ; He sees it in his joy ! The youth who daily further from the east Must travel, still is nature's priest, And by the vision splendid Is on his way attended ; At length the man perceives it die away, And fade into the light of common day.
Page 269 - The blackbird amid leafy trees, The lark above the hill, Let loose their carols when they please, Are quiet when they will. With Nature never do they wage A foolish strife ; they see A happy youth, and their old age Is beautiful and free : But we are pressed by heavy laws ; And often, glad no more, We wear a face of joy, because We have been glad of yore.