Samuel Taylor Coleridge: reformed English prosody with less archaic diction

He also introduced the world to the phrase “suspension of disbelief”

  • Lines On Observing A Blossom On The First Of February, 1796

  • Sweet flower! that peeping from thy russet stem
  • Unfoldest timidly, (for in strange sort
  • This dark, frieze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering month
  • Hath borrowed Zephyr’s voice, and gazed upon thee
  • With blue voluptuous eye) alas poor flower!
  • These are but flatteries of the faithless year.
  • Perchance, escaped its unknown polar cave,
  • E’en now the keen north-east is on its way.
  • Flower that must perish! shall I liken thee
  • To some sweet girl of too, too rapid growth,
  • Nipped by consumption mid untimely charms?
  • Or to Bristowa’s bard, the wond’rous boy! 
  • As amaranth, which earth scarce seemed to own,
  • Till disappointment come, and pelting wrong
  • Beat it to earth? or with indignant grief
  • Shall I compare thee to poor Poland’s hope,
  • Bright flower of hope killed in the opening bud?
  • Farewell, sweet blossom! better fate be thine
  • And mock my boding! Dim similitudes
  • Weaving in moral strains, I’ve stolen one hour 
  • From anxious self, life’s cruel taskmaster!
  • And the warm wooings of this sunny day
  • Tremble along my frame, and harmonize
  • The attempered organ, that even saddest thoughts
  • Mix with some sweet sensations, like harsh tunes
  • Played deftly on a soft-toned instrument.
  • Sonnet Xix. To A Friend, Who Asked How I Felt When The Nurse First Presented My Infant To Me

  • Charles! my slow heart was only sad, when first
  • I scanned that face of feeble infancy;
  • For dimly on my thoughtful spirit burst
  • All I had been, and all my babe might be!
  • But when I saw it on its Mother’s arm,
  • And hanging at her bosom (she the while
  • Bent o’er its features with a tearful smile), 
  • Then I was thrilled and melted, and most warm
  • Impressed a Father’s kiss: and all beguiled 
  • Of dark remembrance, and presageful fear,
  • I seemed to see an Angel’s form appear--
  • ‘Twas even thine, beloved Woman mild!
  • So for the Mother’s sake the Child was dear,
  • And dearer was the Mother for the Child.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) is one of the most famous of the English poets, who, along with his literary partner William Wordsworth, founded the Romantic Movement in England, which sought to reform English prosody with less archaic diction and subject matter that was previously thought “unpoetic.” His major works, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and “Kubla Khan,” serve as mainstays in most anthologies of English verse. He also introduced the world of literary theory to the phrase “suspension of disbelief.”

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