By John Beer

Eminent Coleridgean pupil John Beer offers a sequence of biographical investigations exploring Coleridge's existence, degree by means of level, and reconsidering the highbrow caliber of his considering and poetry via an emphasis at the idea of 'play'. starting and finishing with short debts of the poet's adolescence and final years, the book's twelve chapters each one take a passage of Coleridge's existence and characterise the character and serve as of an abiding playful point in his cognizance. together they shape an in depth, complete, and humane therapy of Coleridge's lifestyles, concentrating on subject matters similar to his curiosity in psychology, his poetry, his literary collaboration with William and Dorothy Wordsworth, his hopeless love for William's sister-in-law, his literary feedback, together with a brand new method of Shakespeare, and his paintings in the direction of a clean of latest non secular ideals and practices.

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Fantastic Sportiveness 19 Some of Coleridge’s most absorbing speculations at this time had to do with his ideas about the nature of human growth. In particular, he remained fascinated by the manner in which such development involved a separation between the vegetative element in the human and the development of energy. From the time when, in ‘The Eolian Harp’, he had connected the experience of a bean-field, played over by a wind that released the scents of its flowers, with the idea that all organic forms might be played on by a similar ‘Intellectual breeze’ he had been fascinated by the relationship between the organic and the vital.

When he thought of Sara in the months to come particular images possessed him. On one occasion he and Sara had both leant on Mary’s lap close enough for Coleridge to feel Sara’s eyelash on his cheek. It was a scene that he was later to recreate in an imaginative poem—only to stop himself: But let me check this tender lay Which none may hear but she and thou! Like the still hive at quiet midnight humming, Murmur it to yourselves, ye two beloved women! A few nights later he would compose the letter to her that was to become ‘Dejection: an Ode’.

CPW (CC) I(1) 462–8 and nn; CF (1809) 161–2 (cf. CFriend II 146–7). 5 See E. K. Chambers, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1938), p. 93. 6 Letter to Thomas Manning of August 1801: LL (Marrs) II 13. It has been claimed that the Albion had to cease publication as a result of including this poem. Coleridge and Mackintosh 41 the eyes of the aggrieved Godwin, spoke witheringly of ‘the Animalcula, who live on the dung of the great Dung-fly Mackintosh’,7 and of his lectures and conversations as ‘the Steam of an Excrement’.

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