Samuel Taylor Coleridge has been referred to as “The Genius that Failed” (Poetry Foundation 1). Coleridge was raised in a post revolutionary time period in England, after the American and French Revolutions, known as the Romantic Age of Poetry. He is one of six commonly known poets largely responsible for the Romantic Movement that focused on choosing the rural life over living in the city and used nature as a bridge between man and God. Coleridge also played an instrumental part in the conversational poetry of his friend William Wordsworth and was known as a great philosopher and literary critic. The genius of Samuel Coleridge was plagued by severe depression, opium dependency, and the abandonment of poetry at the age of thirty.
Coleridge was born on October 21st, 1772 to John Coleridge, a vicar and schoolteacher in the small town of Devonshire, England. Samuel was the youngest of fourteen children and spent most of his childhood reading everything he could get his hands on. Instead of playing with other children his love for reading fantastical and romantic books, like The Arabian Nights, kept him indoors and by himself. This cultivated his love for literature, poetry, and romance and greatly contributed to his poetic style later in life. At the age of eight, Coleridge was sent to boarding school at Christ’s Hospital after the death of his father, separating him from his siblings and widowed mother. This distance resulted in bouts of depression and a longing to return home. He spent the remainder of his childhood at Christ’s Hospital writing poetry and learning from his most influential teacher, James Bowyer, who taught Coleridge to focus on clear and straight-forward approaches towards his poetic struct...
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... much like the poetry of Samuel Coleridge for a number of reasons. My favorite aspect is the amount of fantasy and nature that are included in his works. His poems are a great example of how nature can be a bridge between man and God. The fantasy aspect may just be a result of an opium dream but it makes his works very imaginative and stimulating to the mind. I believe that Samuel Taylor Coleridge is himself a character of fantasy, much like Sherlock Holmes and Merlin the wizard. His life is very entertaining and filled with brilliance and many emotions.
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor. The Norton Anthology of Poetry. Shorter 5th Edition ed. New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc., 2005. 1307. Print.
"Samuel Taylor Coleridge." Poetry Foundation. Poetry Foundation, n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2014.
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