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Wordsworth and Coleridge: E-articles on woandco

Gale Literature Resource Center

The paradoxes of nature in Wordsworth and Coleridge

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Author: John Beer
Date: Winter 2009
From: Wordsworth Circle(Vol. 40, Issue 1)
Publisher: Wordsworth Circle
Document Type: Critical essay 
Length: 2,949 words

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Coleridge and Wordsworth, especially in the late 1790s, are rather loosely thought of as having been primarily "nature poets." The matter will bear being looked into little further, however: how far did their views of nature converge, how far was there--as Coleridge later came to think concerning their views of poetry--a fundamental underlying disagreement? Coleridge was at that time making his name as a Unitarian preacher; he was thought of as a political and theological writer as much as a poet. It was Wordsworth who thought of him as a devotee of nature, addressing him in The Prelude as "one"

The most intense of Nature's worshippers,
In many things my brother, chiefly here
In this my deep devotion

How far, then, was "Nature" a subject of their conversations in 1798?

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Gleams and Dreams: Reflections on Romantic Rhyme. 

O'Neill, Michael
Romanticism. Jul2017, Vol. 23 Issue 2, p123-132. 10p. 
Document Type:
Subject Terms:
*POETRY (Literary form)
Author-Supplied Keywords:
WORDSWORTH, William, 1770-1850
COLERIDGE, Samuel Taylor, 1772-1834
'Gleam' and 'dream': the rhyme performs a quintessential Romantic pairing and serves as a window opening on to the topic of rhyme in poetry of the period, not least through the serendipitous way in which it off-rhymes with the word 'rhyme' itself. Rhyme is a matter of spanning or failing to span abysses in Romantic poetry as much as it is an earnest of some ultimate harmony or fulfilment. The word 'gleam' suggests an intimations-inducing flash of light; 'dream', for its part, points towards a possibly insubstantial source or vehicle of embodiment or quest or longing. On the face of it, the coupling may seem as hackneyed as any scorner of Romantic verbal effects might wish. Yet Romantic poetry generates an 'electric life', in Shelley's words in A Defence of Poetry, from this and comparable verbal interknittings, The essay pays particular attention to the rhyme of 'gleam' and 'dream' in various poems, and then to rhyme's intratextual and intertextual effects in poems by Wordsworth and Coleridge; it returns at its close to themes of aspiration and affirmation often resonating through Romantic rhyme. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]



Radical Similarity: Wordsworth, Coleridge, and the Dejection Dialogue

William A. Ulmer
Vol. 76, No. 1 (Spring, 2009), pp. 189-213 (25 pages)