• Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic and philosopher.• He was the leader of Romantic poetry.• He used opium for inspiration.
During the 18th century the catchphrase of literature and art was reason.But, the 19th century was heralded by major shift in the conception and emphasis of literary art and specifically poetry.
Subject Matter The most important characteristic of his literary text, he used supernatural elements, visionary elements in his poems. Supernatural elements, extraordinary and mysterious that can be found in human nature. Nature is not the only subject matter, he also talk about psychology of character.
Language Sophisticated, elaborated and ornamented. The best part of human language is derived from reflection on the acts of the mind itself. It is formed by a voluntary appropriate on of fixed symbols to internal acts, to processes and results of imagination, the greater part of which no place in the consciousness of un-aducated man. The language of poetry undoubtly comes from imagination. The way, Poet perceives the world and translates it for everyone.
Purpose of PoetryThe purpose of poetry is to give pleasure and this pleasure is from whole part and from each companent part.If you read a novel, you take pleasure from the whole part.If you read a poem, you take pleasure from the each part.
PoetryColeridge sees the poetry as a source of knowledgeThe Poem must be cohesive unit with every part working together to build into a whole.Philosophy was so important, because it was the sum of all knowledge.
Poet „No man was ever yet a great poet, without at the sometimes being a profound philosopher.‟ He valued scientific thinking as a branch of philosophy. According to him; if a person is a poet, he should also be a philosopher otherwise he is not poet. The poet must be educated person who possess poetic genious.
Coleridge vs. Wordsworth Coleridge‟s objection to wordsworth‟s use of term „real language of men.‟ According to wordsworth; „Language really used by common man‟ and „The concern of poetry should be simple, rustic and common life.‟ But, for Coleridge; such a generalization cannot exist, for men are individuals by nature. He thought that lowering diction and content simply made it. So that The poet had a smaller vocabularly of both words and concepts to draw from. Coleridge also combines his theoretical ideas in his poetry. He abondans Wordsworth‟s notion of poetry for the common man and uses lofty language, poetic diction and subject matter, while he still holds a reverence for Nature in herent to romantic literature, his poems are not exclusively based around the natural.
• Subject Matter Wordsworth Coleridge • Childhood manners. • Supernatural, extraordiinary • Rustic, humble and common life . and mysterious elements that • Beautiful forms of nature. can be found in human nature. • Nature is not only subject ( Anti-neoclassical ) matter, he also talks about psychology of character ( NEW )• Language • Language really used common man. • Metrical arrangement • He used language and subjects of the • Sophisticated common man to convey his ideas. • Ornamented • He was against to Augustan Age • Elevated decorum and over-flow style. ( Anti-neoclassical) ( Neo-classical )• Purpose of • Duty of poetry is to spread • It is to give pleasure and poetry humanitanal values and attitudes. this pleasure is from whole parts and from each part ( NEW )• Defination of • Poetry is the spontaneous • A poem is a composition poetry overflow of powerful feelings which is opposed to works recollected in tranquillity. of science by its object.
Biographia Literaria is the one of the his significant theoretical works.Biographia Literaria is concerned with the form of poetry, the genius of the poet and relationship to philosophy.
CHAPTER 13IMAGINATION Coleridge focused mainly an imagination as the key to poetry. He divided into two main components; primary and secondary imagination. His most contribution to Literary Theory, literature and criticism is his „POETIC IMAGINATION‟ For Coleridge imagination was responsible for acts that were truly creative and inventive. The imagination, on the other hand, was vital and transformative. Imagination described the „mysterious power‟ which extracted from such data, hidden ideas and meaning.
Coleridge divided imagination into two parts: His Poetic ImaginationPrimary Imagination Secondary Imagination
PRIMARY IMAGINATION It acts dependently of human will. It represents the basic agency of human awareness. Primaty imagination is something that is there in every human being because it is the living power of human perception. It is the common faculty of every human being. It enable us to seperate, divide and order in order to make perception possible. And to understand the unity of object. The primary imagination is a spontaneous creation of new ideas and they are expressed perfectly. Primary imagination was for Coleridge, „the necessary imagination‟ as it outomatically balances and fuses the innate capacities and powers of the mind with the external presence of the objective world that the one receives through the senses. Primary imagination is the consciousness shared by all men while the secondary imagination is limited to poets.
SECONDARY IMAGINATION It acts in dependently of human will. It represents the conscious use of human power. The creative gift possessed by the poet. Secondary imagination is rather symbolic, It produces a form its own. It helps understanding the unity of universal, like good, divinity, truth, moral. It represents a superior occulty which could only be associated with artistic genius. It is more active and conscious in its working. Secondary imagination selects and orders the raw material and reshapes and remodels it into objects of beauty. It is mitigated by the conscious act of imagination therefore; it is hindered by not only imperfect creation, but also by imperfect expression.
FANCY Coleridge distinguishes secondary imagination, with, fancy. Coleridge introduces his concept of fancy. Fancy is the lowes form of imagination because it has no other counters to play with but fixities and definites. Fancy; mechanical, imitative. It constructs images out of new combination conceptions and memories. Fancy in Coleridge‟s eyes was employed for tasks that were „passive‟ and „mechanical‟, the accumulation of the fact and documentation of what is seen. For Coleridge, fancy is the attribute of poetic genius, but imagination is its soul. Fancy is equated with a mechanical mixture and imagination is equated with a chemical compound. Fancy is a limited or false parallel of Secondary Imagination. The parallel between the creativity of the poet and that of the cosmos makes us think of Schelling, but in Coleridge‟s account there is on consciousness on deliberation of the cosmic creativity, so that the word „God‟ is perhaps more appropriate here.
CHAPTER 13ON IMAGINATION „The imagination then I consider either as primary or secondary.The primary imagination I hold to be living power and prime Agent of all human Perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I am The secondary I consider as an echo of the former, co- existing with the conscious will, yet still as indentical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode of its operation. It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates in order to re-create; or where this process is rendered impossible, yet still at all events it stuggles to idealize and to unity. It is essentially vital even as all objects are essentially fixed and dead‟
„Samuel Taylor Coleridge divides imagination into two parts; the primary and secondary imagination. As the „Living Power and Prime Agent‟ the primary imagination is attributed a divine quality, namely the creation of the self the „I am‟ However, because it is not subject to human will, the poet has no control over the primary imagination. It is the intrinsic quality of the poet that makes him or her a creator, harking back Wordsworth. The secondary imagination does not have the unlimited power to create, it struggles to attain the ideal but can never reach it. Still the primary governs the secondary, and imagination gives rise to our ideas of perfection.‟
„Fancy, on the contrary has no other counters to play with but fixities and definites. The fancy indeed no other than a made of memory emancipated from the order of time and space; while it is blended with, and modified by that emprical phenomenon of the will, which we express by word choise, But equally with the ordinary memory the fancy must receive all its materials ready made from the law of association.‟
Coleridge also adds Fancy is his description of the Imagination. According to his Philosophy, Fancy is even lower than the secondary imagination, which is already of the earthly realm. Fancy is the source of our baser desires. It is not a creative faculty but a repository for lust.
Coleridge writes that poetic imagination „dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to recreate; it struggles to idealize and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects are essentially fixed an dead‟ The idea here is that everything is the world is „dead‟ and only the poet‟s imagination can bring aspects of the world alive, which is the meaning of the word which Coleridge uses „vital.‟
Imagination he conceives of according to theKantian distinction between the Verstand (familiarperception and concepts) and Vernunft (directapprehension of universal truth ). Corresponding to the Verstand is the Primary Imagination, and to the Vernunft is the Secondary Imagination. The Verstand faculty is possessed by every human being. The Vernunft faculty is a superior intuitive power conceives of the oneness of universals.
CHAPTER 14 In chapter 14 Coleridge outlines his poetic creed. All the major issues to be discussed are raised here. In relating the origins of Lyrical Ballads, Coleridge in this chapter employs the MIMETIC APPROACH since he delineates the two distinct subject matters and incidents which he and Wordsworth were to imitate. Coleridge says that the power of poetry to be twofold: That is, it can arouse reader sympathy by “faithful adherence to the truth of nature” and by “giving the interest of novelty by the modifying colors of imagination” Wordsworth was to assume the first task by rendering the familiar as marvelous and beautiful, while Coleridge was to accept the second task of making the unfamiliar credible.
Coleridge‟s poems “should be directed to persons and characters supernatural or at least romantic” but would be presented with such “a semblance of truth sufficient to procure for these shadows of imagination that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith” Wordsworth would take an opposing approach; his “subjects were to be chosen from ordinary life,” but he would “give them “the charm of novelty” so that they would “excite a feeling analogous to the supernatural”
. In this most memorable of all critical phrases—“to produce . . . the willing suspension of disbelief [in the reader] for the moment which constitutes poetic faith”—Coleridge moves into the AFFECTIVE domain. In essence, he contends that a reader picks up every literary work knowing it is fiction (that is, disbelieving that it is reality), but the reader willingly suspends this disbelief while reading in order to gain the pleasure which the literary work promises. This suspension of disbelief is the “poetic faith” which every reader must accord an author, until the author through the work violates this faith.
Coleridge then gives his definition of a poem: This definition first uses the AFFECTIVE THEORY: A poem seeks to produce “immediate” “pleasure” in the reader, not to teach a “truth”. This assertion runs counter to all of the critics we have read since Horace, including Wordsworth. The second part of the definition uses the OBJECTIVE THEORY: A poem has “organic unity,” a conception, the editors states, which “harken[s] back to Aristotle”. Organic unity means that all of the parts of a poem must fit together as the parts of an organism fit together, where, if you remove one part, the organism dies.
“A poem is that species of composition, which is opposed to works of science by proposing for its immediate object pleasure, not truth” [AFFECTIVE]. Such a “legitimate poem . . . must be one, the parts of which mutually support and explain each other; all in their proportion harmonizing with, and supporting the purpose and known influences of metrical arrangement” [OBJECTIVE].
To Coleridge, the essence of poetry is not found in the Objective or Affective approaches. Rather it is found in what goes on in the mind of the poet—the EXPRESSIVE approach. Thus, Coleridge states, “What is poetry? is so nearly the same question with, what is a poet? that the answer to the one is involved in the solution to the other”. To Coleridge the true poet is characterized by “poetic genius”, what he later calls “poetic IMAGINATION”. Coleridge then describes what goes on in the poet‟s mind when a poem is being created. Imagination, he says, “sustains and modifies the images, thoughts, and emotions of the poet‟s own mind”. The “poet, described in ideal perfection, brings the whole soul of man into activity. . . . He diffuses a tone and spirit of unity, that blends, and (as it were) fuses, each into each, by that synthetic and magical power, to which we have exclusively appropriated the name of imagination” .
“Imagination . . . reveals itself in the balance or reconciliation of opposite or discordant qualities: of sameness, with difference; of the general, with the concrete; the idea, with the image; the individual, with the representative; the sense of novelty and of freshness, with old and familiar objects . . . and while it blends and harmonizes the natural and the artificial, still subordinates art to nature . . .”. Imagination is “the SOUL that is everywhere, and in each; and forms all into one graceful and intelligent whole”