Samuel Taylor Coleridge
|Samuel Taylor Coleridge|
Coleridge in 1795
|Died||25 July 1834 (aged 61)|
|Occupation||Poet, critic, philosopher|
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (
Throughout his adult life Coleridge had crippling bouts of anxiety and depression; it has been speculated that he had
Coleridge was born on 21 October 1772 in the town of
However, Coleridge seems to have appreciated his teacher, as he wrote in recollections of his school days in Biographia Literaria:
I enjoyed the inestimable advantage of a very sensible, though at the same time, a very severe master [...] At the same time that we were studying the
Greek Tragic Poets, he made us read Shakespeareand Miltonas lessons: and they were the lessons too, which required most time and trouble to bring up, so as to escape his censure. I learnt from him, that Poetry, even that of the loftiest, and, seemingly, that of the wildest odes, had a logic of its own, as severe as that of science; and more difficult, because more subtle, more complex, and dependent on more, and more fugitive causes. [...] In our own English compositions (at least for the last three years of our school education) he showed no mercy to phrase, metaphor, or image, unsupported by a sound sense, or where the same sense might have been conveyed with equal force and dignity in plainer words... In fancy I can almost hear him now, exclaiming Harp? Harp? Lyre? Pen and ink, boy, you mean! Muse, boy, Muse? your Nurse's daughter, you mean! Pierian spring? Oh aye! the cloister-pump, I suppose! [...] Be this as it may, there was one custom of our master's, which I cannot pass over in silence, because I think it ... worthy of imitation. He would often permit our theme exercises, ... to accumulate, till each lad had four or five to be looked over. Then placing the whole number abreast on his desk, he would ask the writer, why this or that sentence might not have found as appropriate a place under this or that other thesis: and if no satisfying answer could be returned, and two faults of the same kind were found in one exercise, the irrevocable verdict followed, the exercise was torn up, and another on the same subject to be produced, in addition to the tasks of the day.
He later wrote of his loneliness at school in the poem "
From 1791 until 1794, Coleridge attended