Tag Archives: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Language most shows a man. Speak that I may see thee.” — Ben Jonson

“O rare Benn Johnson.” — Jonson’s incorrectly-spelled epitaph in Westminster Abbey It’s his birthday today. Ben Jonson did everything. Plays, poems, satires, elegies, epigrams. His talent was wide and flexible. Everything he wrote feels inevitable. However, as Michael Schmidt writes … Continue reading

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“Some syllables are swords.” — Metaphysical poet Henry Vaughan

”I’ve always been much influenced by the 17th-century metaphysical poets like Donne, and especially Henry Vaughan.” — Philip K. Dick It’s Henry Vaughan’s birthday today. I was just thinking the other day about how I encountered certain famous writers in … Continue reading

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“For never has such soothing voice / Been to your shadowy world convey’d…” — Matthew Arnold on William Wordsworth

“I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity; the emotion is contemplated till by a species of reaction the tranquillity gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to … Continue reading

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“These English songs gravel me to death. I have not the command of the language that I have of my native tongue. In fact, I think that my ideas are more barren in English than in Scotch.” — Robert Burns, “the Ploughman Poet” of Scotland

“For my own part I never had the least thought or inclination of turning poet till I got once heartily in Love, and then Rhyme and Song were, in a manner, the spontaneous language of my heart.” — Robert Burns … Continue reading

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“I doubt sometimes whether a quiet and unagitated life would have suited me–yet I sometimes long for it.” — Lord Byron

— And who is the best poet, Heron? asked Boland. — Lord Tennyson, of course, answered Heron. — O, yes, Lord Tennyson, said Nash. We have all his poetry at home in a book. At this Stephen forgot the silent … Continue reading

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“The fault that I acknowledge in myself is to have descended to print anything in verse.” — John Donne

“So difficult and opaque it is, I am not certain what it is I print.” — first publisher of the work of John Donne It’s his birthday today. John Donne (1572-1631) was a poet and an Anglican priest (born a … Continue reading

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“Thy soul was like a Star and dwelt apart” — William Wordsworth on John Milton

Milton was born on this day in 1608. Although he left Oxford without completing his degree, he remained a thinker, a propagandist/pamphleteer, a scholar till the end of his days. The isolated poet, focused on self and personal emotion, would … Continue reading

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“I have ever hated all nations, professions, and communities, and all my love is toward individuals.” — poet/writer/hater Jonathan Swift

“[He is] the most vigorous hater we’ve ever had in our literature.” — Edgell Rickword We’re not supposed to “hate”. “Hate” calls to mind tiki torches. Or “hate crimes.” But there is a productive kind of hate. A galvanizing hate. … Continue reading

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“I find that I cannot exist without poetry—without eternal poetry—” –John Keats

I was just beautifying him, don’t you know. A thing of beauty, don’t you know. Yeats says, or I mean, Keats says. – James Joyce, Ulysses Born in 1795 on this day, John Keats was orphaned at fifteen. Because his … Continue reading

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“My thoughts bustle along like a Surinam toad, with little toads sprouting out of back, side, and belly, vegetating while it crawls.” — Samuel Taylor Coleridge

He looked at his own Soul with a telescope. What seemed all irregular, he saw and shewed to be beautiful Constellations: and he added to the Consciousness hidden worlds within worlds. –Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Notebooks It’s his birthday today. I’ll … Continue reading

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