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Coleridge: Selected Poems Hardcover – 21 Mar 1996

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Hardcover, 21 Mar 1996

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (21 Mar. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002555794
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002555791
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 3.6 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,567,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Coleridge is a great and daring poet. His presence is felt echoing through the English language by anyone who has heard the magical names of 'Kubla Khan' or 'Christabel' or 'The Ancient Mariner'. But he is also an unknown poet, much of whose work has been neglected and whose range and skill has never been properly appreciated. 'The Poet', he once said, 'is the man made to solve the riddle of the Universe.'

Contrary to the legend, Coleridge continued to produce challenging poems for over forty years, and later in life began to make new selections of his work by genre. Now Richard Holmes, Coleridge's prize-winning biographer, follows his example grouping the poetry not chronologically as in most previous selections, but thematically and generically.

Holmes presents one hundred and one poems, each with a detailed critical and biographical note, which together form a new survey of Coleridge's work. In his general introduction, he reviews Coleridge's place in the Romantic Movement, and in a short preface to each section explains Coleridge's originality, his experimental use of language and his imaginative genius in exploring traditional eighteenth-century forms. Holmes's selection gives a fresh and enlarged sense of Coleridge's creative powers and provides a revised approach to the study of Coleridge's poetic development, both for the student and the general reader.

"A great Poet must be… a profound Metaphysician. He may not have it in logical coherence, in his Brain & Tongue; but he must have it by 'Tact': for all sounds & forms of human nature he must have the 'ear' of a wild Arab listening in the silent Desert, the 'eye' of a North American Indian tracing the footsteps of an Enemy upon the Leaves that strew the Forest: the 'touch' of a blind Man feeling the face of a darling Child."

About the Author

Richard Holmes was born in London in 1945 and educated at Downside School and Churchill College, Cambridge.

In 1974 he published Shelley: The Pursuit which won the Somerset Maugham Award and was described by Stephen Spender as ‘surely the best biography of Shelley ever written’. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and in 1992 was awarded an OBE.

He lives in London and Norwich with the novelist Rose Tremain.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Molly Marsden on 27 Nov. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This selection of Coleridge's poetry edited by Richard Holmes forms an excellent companion to his two volume biography of the poet, or on its own as a rewarding read of poems many ranking among the cream of nineteenth century romantic literature. Holmes follows a short introduction with a detailed chronology of the poet's life, from his birth in 1772 to death sixty one years later, then the verses cleverly collected by genre, and finally a useful appraisal of each poem. This reviewer particularly enjoyed the notes on the poems as an aid to understanding their drift. This isn't a book one reads once, it's one to be kept for relishing the beauty of the poet's language and the mystery of his soaring transcendent thoughts; for Kubla Khan, Christabel, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Frost at Midnight have found their way into immortality.
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