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The Early Romantic poets


Today the word ‘roman c’ evokes images of love and sen mentality. Till this date, in the moments of
intense passion and zeal, our contemporary poets also proclaim themselves to be a 'roman c', and as
late as nineteenth century, it was believed that roman cism, just like classicism were 'universal' aspects
of human nature. Therefore, you can be a roman c barring the limita ons of the me and context you
live in, for 'roman c' and 'roman cism', if general concep ons are to be believed - reoccured in every
era, transcending their own me. But the term ‘Roman cism’ has a much wider meaning. It covers a
range of developments in art, literature, music and philosophy, spanning the late 18th and early 19th
centuries. To be precise in terms of literature, the period ranging from 1790 to 1830 ( or even up to
1850).Though periodiza on has its own limita on of homogenizing and ignoring the diversity and
pluralism of these poe c geniuses, but Rene wellek's account of these poets gives us quite a
jus fica on to club them together - "The great poets of the English Roman c movement cons tute a
fairly coherent group, with the same view of nature and mind. They also share a poe c style, a use of
imagery, symbolism and myth, which is quite dis nct from anything that had been prac ced by the
eighteenth century, and which was felt by their contemporaries to be obscure and almost unintelligible".
Also, the Roman cs’ would not have used the term themselves: the label was applied retrospec vely,
from around the middle of the 19th century. For literature as a category and an ideology, was to take
shape in the nearby future when it would become a discipline, thereby canonizing a selec ve male
brigade of six poets as the foremost expression of Roman c poetry. Namely,

William Blake (1757-1827), William Wordsworth (1770-1850), Samuel Taylor
Coleridge (1772-1834), George Gordon, 6th Lord Byron(1788-1824), Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822)
and John Keats (1795-1821). These men as the guiding light of Roman c verse, with their intui ve ideas
and remarks would shape the history, and vice versa. Blake's 'Songs of Innocence and Experience'
conceal their deep philosophical import and venomous socio religious sa re behind the veil of innocent
ventriloquism of nursery rhymes. Wordsworth gives us esoteric lines, replete with difficult gerunds and
kno y gene ves, even as he claims to write in simple rus c idioms. Coleridge's Kubla Khan presents to us
the most mind boggling riddle - of 'daemonic lovers, wailing women and Abyssiam maids' - of all mes to
the scholars of Roman c poetry. Keats's 'To Autumn' is a pure descrip on, and whatever meaning one
a ributes to 'pure existence' is purely extrapola ve. Shelley's mythopoesis is intricate and complex,
while Byron's own celebrity acts being a medita ng prism to his poetry.

the guiding principles of french revolu on. through its constant struggle to dissolve this crystalline wall so as to re-turn man to Nature. the insane.’ During the Roman c period major transi ons took place in society. and everywhere he is in chains. And therefore. Poetry.Wordsworth was concerned about the eli sm of earlier poets. ' a spontaneous overflow of powerful emo ons'. égalité. and statute.serving narra ve of an expanding industrial world and its inheritors.the self. that . and children. and predicated human greatness and poten al upon the force of Reason alone. William Wordsworth In 1762 Jean-Jacques Rousseau declared in The Social Contract: ‘Man is born free. whose highbrow language and subject ma er were neither readily accessible nor par cularly relevant to ordinary people. that it should be composed in ‘the language really spoken by men’ (Preface to Lyrical Ballads [1802]). The Roman cs renounced the ra onalism and order associated with the preceding Enlightenment era. stressing the importance of expressing authen c personal feelings. discharged soldiers. It became. Enlightenment hardened and perfected the Cartesian separa on of man and nature. In England. But to be young was very heaven! . ‘fallen’ women. through the force of his superior scien fic ra onale. They were inspired by a desire for Liberté. stale. capitalism and imperialism . His poem ‘London’ draws a en on to the suffering of chimney-sweeps. as Kanav gupta writes. as wordsworth would write in his Preface to Lyrical ballads. Man could. While. to revive the intrinsic humane import of poetry. conquer the environment in which he was embedded. the bourgeoisie".cultural front and by others like Wordsworth and Keats in their personal/ 'spiritual' realm. and they denounced the exploita on of the poor. came closer to the words of common people. frequently addressing social issues in his poems and expressing his concerns about the monarchy and the church.Oh! Times. fraternité . he tried to give a voice to those who tended to be marginalised and oppressed by society: the rural poor.Therefore a contant cartesian ba le was fought by the Roman c poets such as Blake and shelley on the socio. 'Enlightenment' sniggered at everything which can fall within the purview of sen ment. took at once The a rac on of a country in romance The French Revolu on. There was an emphasis on the importance of the individual. the Roman c poets were at the very heart of this movement. For this reason. forbidding ways Of custom. where as Roman cism worked as counter to this process. a convic on that people should follow ideals rather than imposed conven ons and rules. "to jus fy the projects of urbanism. soldiers and pros tutes. law. as dissa sfied intellectuals and ar sts challenged the Establishment.Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive. He maintained that poetry should be democra c. In which the meagre. But the general thoughts around 'reason' and 'scien fic ra onale' were also put to use.Blake was radical in his poli cal views. rather than being a tool of sa re and displaying wit.

It was a case of capital city drawing the character of an economy and a society into its extraordinary centre: order and chaos both". marks of woe London. in these'. reducing human rela ons to market exchanges and dismissing art as an unprofitable ornamenta on.In the words of Raymond Williams. to become the world's first industrial capitalist na on. as we say. a loss of society itself. converted human life into wage-slavery. William Blake In the Eighteenth Century. not at first in social but in perpetual ways: a failure of iden ty in the crowd of others which worked back to a loss of iden ty in the self.century slave trade and its imperial control of the seas. and then.augustan age had somehow dissolved and to use poetry as a radical tool for subversive change in the society. Terry Eagleton remarks that "The callous disciplines of early industrial capitalism uprooted whole communi es.fe shizing fact. as all around London itself. Near where the chartered Thames does flow And mark in every face I meet Marks of weakness.process on the newly formed working class and understood nothing which could not be transformed into a commodity on the open market. how men lived Even next. and further with expanding markets. U litarianism was becoming the dominant ideology of Industrial middle class . "It was not the later case of an industrial centre being fed by its rural hinterland. Blake would see common condi on of "weakness and woe" around him. not knowing each the other's name. enforced an alienated labour. the country was transformed to supply the city. yet s ll Strangers. a loss of connec on. Wordsworth would see strangeness.door neighbours. the popula on of London rose to a million and a quarter. England had achieved its point of economic 'take." And therefore. Capitalism I wander thro' each charter'd street. Wordsworth . Between 1700 and 1820. arguably on the back of enormous profits it had reaped from the eighteenth.

philosophical contexts. Rousseau and Godwin which fire it. bringing with it the promise of a brighter day. The French Revolu on of 1789 gives a poli cal frame and spine to Roman c poetry. forcing them to rethink the nature of man in view of ruina on of this great historical moment. Shelley elevated the status of poets: ‘They measure the circumference and sound the depths of human nature with a comprehensive and all-penetra ng spirit…’. Their crea ve talents could illuminate and transform the world into a coherent vision. the promise of regenerated man and regenerated earth. . and the pang of the loss of the poli cal ideal now manifests from behind the curtain of words that expressly engage with personal losses . because they truly believed that it could enable people to transcend their troubles and their circumstances. It was hailed with joy and acclama on by the oppressed. The poli cal energy moves inwards. In A Defence of Poetry (1821). the French Revolu on and all its social ground. the opportunist regicide who claimed control of the revolu on. Imagina on and poe c fervour . one that would have directed humanity towards a be er collec ve future based on high ideals. This dashed the hopes of all thinkers and poets. But these poli cal ideals are thwarted by the ensuing 'reign of terror' under Robespierre. to regenerate mankind spiritually. Imagination The Roman cs highlighted the healing power of the imagina on. “The French Revolu on came.Revolution According to Albert a world filled with death and ruins. by the poets. only to be thwarted again in the recklessness of Napoleon's ambi on.[1] He declared that ‘Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world’. in his book The French Revolu on and the English Poets: a study in historical cri cism. Almost all the major poets are driven by the reforma ve prospects of the Revolu on and the poli cal ideals of Paine. whose task it is to voice the human spirit. the Bri sh government feared similar outbreaks. jus fying murder and genocide by appropria ng the same ideals of Rousseau as had inspired the revolu onaries. This was a me of physical confronta on. poli cal debacles and socio. by the ardent lovers of humanity. Napoleon's meteoric rise in the a ermath of the revolu on is treated by the likes of Shelley and Byron as the renewal of prospects of the poli cal idyll. Conscious of anarchy across the English Channel. They align all their hopes and poe c energies towards what they see as a watershed moment in the history of man. of violent rebellion in parts of Europe and the New World.poli cal outcomes have a forma ve bearing on both the early and late roman cs.those of community. The word 'imagina ve' contains an . As such.

overflowing with poor people. and 'imagina on' itself. Blake was an ar san. the word according to Terry Eagleton could have altogether different connota on . literature was becoming a whole aletrana ve ideology in the Roman c era.ambiguity : it has a resonance of the descrip ve term 'imaginary' meaning 'literally untrue'. it was almost a problem in that he could switch off unpleasant reality by imagining worlds that did not otherwise exist. in a world where the working class was responding with militant protests and English state reac ng with poli cal repressiveness. and closer to the working class than any others except keats. and completely. transcendental scope of poe c mind can provide a living cri cism of those ra onalist or empericist ideologies enslaved to 'fact'.He never tried in the least to fit into the world. His father appren ced him to an engraver and by this cra he lived. As for Blake.Jacob Bronowski As industrialisa on grew and spread. dirty. He could see the contrast on his frequent walks into country. The Poets William Blake 'William Blake was born in london on 28 November 1757. with evidence of the power of the king. He was not sure that genuine poetry was made of such dreams. Therefore. and as disturbing as a dream which is unreal because it is too real. but his work was not liked. One only had to place the 'The Echoing Green' beside 'London' to see how Blake transformed the proximity of rural England and London into the green open world of Innocence on the borders of which lurk the hideous and cruel forces of Experience. it was s ll a short walk from London into the country. but it is also of course an evalua ve term. The word itself grew responses from various poets of the me.’ .alienated labour. Unlike the other Roman cs. The raw edge of his Songs come from an actual feel for physical work and anger at how li le his work was appreciated. For keats."Imagina ve crea on' can be offered as an image of non. He also drew and painted. the intui ve.protes ng against it exploita on by a repressive state. crea ve rather than mechanical. But in Blake's me. and the wealthy everywhere. became a poli cal force. he was a rebel. meaning 'visionary' or 'inven ve'. innocently. Also. His visual imagina on made everything he said more than life size. and died there on 12 August 1827. but he did not alter his poems and illustra ons to suit the market. Its task was to transform society in the name of those energies and values which art embodied. and much of his best poetry is about the contrary pulls of tangible actuality and 'faery lands' of the imagina on. the city became more and more smoky. 'Imagina on' was equivalent to God and was the visionary and redemp ve part of a person. as with Blake and Shelley. And hence his Tyger. his Church. becomes the symbol of a working class ." The literary work itself comes to be seen as a mysterious organic unity. in contrast to the fragmented individualism of the capitalist marketplace: it is 'spontaneous' rather than ra onally calculated. and only in his last years was he given the chance to make the noble and original designs which had crowded his head all his life.From Childhood he had a strongly visual mind: whatever he imagined he also saw. simply. . with its hammer and Iron.

which was etched when England and France were at war in 1794. represen ng the states of innocence. Songs of Innocence and of Experience Blake engraved his Songs of Innocence in 1789. he called them ‘contrary states of the human soul. Reason an Energy. Christ personified the human character. we miss the richness of the Songs. and the Songs of Experience. which was etched in the high hope of French Revolu on in 1789. are necessary to Human existence. and see as he saw. The simplicity however is decep ve. and Blake was on the side of man against authority. and a higher innocence' .’ It wasn’t the first me he referred to Contraries. and he was one among the revolu onary friends of Tom Paine and Henry Fuseli and their publisher Joseph Johnson. and Lamb. All this ripples under the lucid surface of the lyric poems where it makes the contrast between the Songs of Innocence. Wordsworth. Love and Hate. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. and his personal mythology. but without knowing about Blake’s poli cs. 'Like many other ar sts Blake employed a central group of related symbols to form a dominant symbolic pa ern. Blake would serve his ideas with imageries for he wanted the readers to use their 'corporeal' func on. he wrote against George III and the kings of France. Gleckner on Blake's use of imagery in his poems. It was the only one of his books that during his life me a racted the admira on of his fellow writers. making them s ll vivid to the genera on of Belsen and making his wri ngs a universal monument of the spirit. hid are the child.wrotes Robert F. God to Blake personified absolute authority. is not merely a technical nicety among sects: it is a crux in Blake's mind. In the sub tle of the 1794 volume. the Gnos c or Manichaen heresy. for it iden fied Christ the son with all spiritual goodness and God the Father with Terror and tyranny. experience. According to Bronowski. They were first published in one volume along with "Songs of Experience as Songs of Innocence and of Experience: Showing Two Contrary States of the Human Soul in 1794. This. Evil is the ac ve springing . Blake was a rebel in the plainest way. The simple vocabulary and rhythm of many of the Songs derives from the children’s hymns and poems that Blake copied as well as parodied. Coleridge. his Dissen ng Chris anity. No poem can be unravelled to its last meaning. the father. In ‘The Marriage of Heaven and Hell’ he set down his ‘doctrine of contraries:’ Without contraries is no progression.From the me of the American Revolu on of 1775 to the rise of Napolean a er 1796. and Christ. Blake was a Chris an but his form of Chris anity was here cal. He supported the American and French revolu ons. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil. And therefore his symbols work as an imagina ve force. A rac on and Repulsion. he praised Washington and Lafaye e. To imagine as he imagined.

First it turned him away from the long poems on which he had laboured since his Cambridge days. harsh adults.just like a revolu on. inseparable from nineteenth. song and shared ac vity predominate over the darkness that hunts its fringes. priests. William Wordsworth William Wordsworth. The dominant colours of ‘Songs of Experience’ are black and grey. mental and poli cal enslavement of Londeners. Westmorland). Experience is the fallen world we live in. God is Heaven. repe on. communica ng his anger through vocabulary. These included poems of . he shows us this dark aspect of london. happiness.London. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. A fierce Tyger that emerges and plunges the social order into chaos. the dominant sounds are of weeping and grief . the ‘I’ who wanders through each chartered street is the solitary but angry Bard who alone can see the economic. Innocence and Experience are physical Condi ons as well as states or a tudes. children robbed of their childhood and suffering whle cleaning Chimneys and at the centre of it all . unhappy children. poison trees. They formed a partnership that would change both poets’ lives and alter the course of English poetry. The Songs of Innocence is less sombre. According to Blake. Whereas. and rhythm . England—died April 23.From Energy. Wordsworth became friends with a fellow poet. It is an unequal world of vic ms and vic misers.It is also the cold. Rydal Mount.” had two consequences for Wordsworth. light. And blake. The children of Innocence are contended because they are economically and emo onally . helped launch the English Roman c movement. laughter. 1770. Therefore the contradic ons became a part of Blake’s life in 19th century england shaped his images of contrariness. an alienated Capitalist Society where workers had been reduced to mere ‘hands’ and market was governing lives of people. 1850. Evil is Hell. lamblike innocence that is dying with the rise of u litarianism. the clearest expression of Experience. While living with Dorothy at Alfoxden House. the dominant images of abandoned starved. (born April 7. beadles. and prac ce of authority found in parents. In one of his poems named ‘London’. Cockermouth. Cumberland. through his contradictory moving pictures shows that they can be harmed at any point of me. The partnership between Wordsworth and Coleridge. thorns and an infer le land without sunshine. English poet whose Lyrical Ballads (1798). selfish love. and other warped adults in the Songs. Joy. but yet they are vulnerable on the account of being childrens. Like the later prophets of the Old Testament. with the occasional red of revolu on or the light of dawn. wri en with Samuel Taylor Coleridge. rooted in one marvelous year (1797–98) in which they “together wantoned in wild Poesy.century Industrial England in Blake’s verse.

pi ful decline of a woman whose husband had gone off to the army and never returned.” Most of the poems were drama c in form. and new subjects for poetry.” and some were portraits of simple rural people intended to illustrate basic truths of human nature. a new vocabulary. Wordsworth began wri ng the autobiographical poem that would absorb him intermi ently for the next 40 years. S mulated by Coleridge and under the healing influences of nature and his sister. Some of these were affec onate tributes to Dorothy. exer ng its control over the reason and the world of the senses alike. “The Ruined Co age. and religion. to be en tled The Recluse. birds.…tracing in them…the primary laws of our nature. but he soon laid the burden of wri ng this poem upon Wordsworth himself. up to the year (1799) in which he se led at Grasmere. which opened with Coleridge’s long poem “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and closed with Wordsworth’s “Tintern Abbey. and only one of its three projected parts was actually wri en. their object was “to choose incidents and situa ons from common life and to relate or describe them…in a selec on of language really used by men. Many of these short poems were wri en to a daringly original program formulated jointly by Wordsworth and Coleridge. and The Borderers. loco-descrip ve poems such as An Evening Walk and Descrip ve Sketches (published in 1793). or. as he declared in a preface to a second edi on two years protest like Salisbury Plain. all of them foreshadowing 20th-century developments. But the main events in the autobiography are internal: the poem exultantly describes the ways in which the imagina on emerges as the dominant faculty. designed to reveal the character of the speaker. Growth of a Poet’s Mind. Coleridge had projected an enormous poem to be called “The Brook. a blank-verse tragedy exploring the psychology of guilt (and not published un l 1842).” composed in superb blank verse in 1797. anonymously authored volume en tled Lyrical Ballads. The second consequence of Wordsworth’s partnership with Coleridge was the framing of a vastly ambi ous poe c design that teased and haunted him for the rest of his life. and other elements of “Nature’s holy plan. The manifesto and the accompanying poems thus set forth a new style. Wordsworth began in 1797–98 to compose the short lyrical and drama c poems for which he is best remembered by many readers. For later . It thus describes a circular journey—what has been called a long journey home. and aimed at breaking the decorum of Neoclassical verse. These poems appeared in 1798 in a slim. and which was eventually published in 1850 under the tle The Prelude.” All but three of the intervening poems were Wordsworth’s. This bleak narra ve records the slow.” in which he proposed to treat all science. and. this was published in 1814 as The Excursion and consisted of nine long philosophical monologues spoken by pastoral characters. The first monologue (Book I) contained a version of one of Wordsworth’s greatest poems. some were tributes to daffodils. The Recluse itself was never completed. To nerve himself up to this enterprise and to test his powers. The Prelude extends the quiet autobiographical mode of reminiscence that Wordsworth had begun in “Tintern Abbey” and traces the poet’s life from his school days through his university life and his visits to France. philosophy. As early as 1798 Wordsworth began to talk in grand terms of this poem.

but the earliest and most powerful version was starkly tragic. (born October 21. His contribu on to it was threefold. it amounted to a fresh view of the organic rela on between man and the natural world. joined by William Wordsworth. cri c. Wordsworth worked his way toward a modern psychological understanding of his own nature. heralded the English Roman c movement.” and he then went on to create some of the greatest English poetry of his century. Coleridge's intellect flowered in an extraordinary manner in the period. Samuel Taylor Coleridge Samuel Taylor Coleridge. next to William Shakespeare. than for his masterpiece. It is probably safe to say that by the late 20th century he stood in cri cal es ma on where Coleridge and Arnold had originally placed him. The Prelude. and it culminated in metaphors of a wedding between nature and the human mind. in impassioned rhetoric he pronounced poetry to be nothing less than “the first and last of all knowledge—it is as immortal as the heart of man. the “growth of a poet’s mind. with whom he had become acquainted in 1795. Therea er his influence was felt throughout the rest of the 19th century. This was more than a ma er of introducing nature imagery into his verse. and thus more broadly of human nature. In the 20th century his reputa on was strengthened both by recogni on of his importance in the Roman c movement and by an apprecia on of the darker elements in his personality and verse. and philosopher.” The Prelude was in fact the first long autobiographical poem. Coleridge’s intellectual ebullience and his belief in the existence of a powerful “life . O ery St. as singled out by the Victorian cri c Ma hew Arnold.when he embarked on an inves ga on of the nature of the human mind. The Prelude. in the sweeping metaphor of nature as emblema c of the mind of God. English lyrical poet. and beyond that. First. Wordsworth placed poetry at the centre of human experience. William Wordsworth was the central figure in the English Roman c revolu on in poetry. His Lyrical Ballads. he formulated in his poems and his essays a new a tude toward nature. Mary. Third. a mind that “feeds upon infinity” and “broods over the dark abyss. 1834. of course. wri en with William Wordsworth. and his Biographia Literaria (1817) is the most significant work of general literary cri cism produced in the English Roman c period. though he was honoured more for his smaller poems. 1772. Wordsworth probed deeply into his own sensibility as he traced. Devonshire. Together they entered upon one of the most influen al crea ve periods of English literature. near London).versions of this poem Wordsworth added a reconciling conclusion. England—died July 25. Highgate. Wordsworth succeeded his friend Robert Southey as Britain’s poet laureate in 1843 and held that post un l his own death in 1850. Wri ng it in a drawn-out process of self-explora on. next to John Milton—who stands.” Second. in his finest poem.

sprang from a universal life consciousness. to conclude in a resolve that his child shall be brought up as a “child of nature. Of these poems.” which begins with the descrip on of a silent frosty night in Somerset and proceeds through a medita on on the rela onship between the quiet work of frost and the quiet breathing of the sleeping baby at the poet’s side. he was exploring the possibility that all religions and mythical tradi ons. he touches another theme. which thy God U ers. . and all things in himself. the most successful is “Frost at Midnight. Coleridge developed a new. who from eternity doth teach Himself in all. which was expressed par cularly through the phenomena of human genius.” so that the sympathies that the poet has come to detect may be reinforced throughout the child’s educa on. with their general agreement on the unity of God and the immortality of the soul.consciousness” in all individuals rescued Wordsworth from the depression into which certain events had cast him and made possible the new approach to nature that characterized his contribu ons to Lyrical Ballads (which was to be published in 1798). which lies at the root of his philosophical a tude: …so shalt thou see and hear The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible Of that eternal language. informal mode of poetry in which he could use a conversa onal tone and rhythm to give unity to a poem. At the climax of the poem. Coleridge’s a empts to learn this “language” and trace it through the ancient tradi ons of mankind also led him during his period to return to the visionary interests of his school days: as he ransacked works of compara ve religion and mythology.

. suggests that it has. at noon.he re red to a lonely farmhouse near Culbone... For this.” he would become endowed with the crea ve.. physical and mental... he drew upon the ballad form.” composed during the autumn and winter of 1797–98.. if inspired by a visionary “Abyssinian maid. a complex structure of meaning and is basically a poem about the nature of human genius. An examina on of the poem in the light of Coleridge’s psychological and mythological interests... No bigger than the Moon.. thereby binding them together in a joyful communion. and its destruc ve power in me of turbulence as symbolized in the wailing woman..... His own consciousness is consequently affected: the sun. and the energies of the deep are seen as corrupt. . is seen as a bloody sun... Right up above the mast did stand... By killing the bird that hovered near the ship. Somersetshire. according to his own account.. The first two stanzas show the two sides of what Coleridge elsewhere calls “commanding genius”: its crea ve aspira ons in me of peace as symbolized in the projected pleasure dome and gardens of the first stanza. The main narra ve tells how a sailor who has commi ed a crime against the life principle by slaying an albatross suffers from torments.Later in life. a er all. however. in which the nature of his crime is made known to him.” The exo c imagery and rhythmic chant of this poem have led many cri cs to conclude that it should be read as a “meaningless reverie” and enjoyed merely for its vivid and sensuous quali es.. composed under the influence of laudanum the mysterious poe c fragment known as “Kubla Khan. divine power of a sun god—an Apollo or Osiris subduing all around him to harmony by the fascina on of his spell. Coleridge was enabled to explore the same range of themes less ego s cally in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. All in a hot and copper sky.. The bloody Sun. and. In the final stanza the poet writes of a state of “absolute genius” in which. The underlying life power against which he has transgressed is envisaged as a power corresponding to the influx of the sun’s energy into all living creatures. his most famous poem. the mariner has destroyed one of the links in this process. and the voices prophesying war of the second stanza.. the destruc ve fountain.. previously glorious..

He especially stressed poetry’s capacity for integra ng the universal and the par cular. the objec ve and the subjec ve. like a witch’s oils. But he also has a reputa on as one of the most important of all English literary cri cs. and blue and white. the generic and the individual. though there is broad agreement that his enormous poten al was never fully realized in his works. in “Kubla Khan” and “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” he wrote two of the greatest poems in English literature and perfected a mode of sensuous lyricism that is o en echoed by later poets. The water. His stature as a poet has never been in doubt.The very deep did rot. About. In Coleridge’s view. O Christ! That ever this should be! Yea. largely on the basis of his Biographia Literaria. slimy things did crawl with legs Upon the slimy sea. about. Coleridge’s achievement has been given more widely varying assessments than that of any other English literary ar st. Burnt green. Only at night do these energies display a sinister beauty. the essen al element of literature was a union of emo on and thought that he described as imagina on. The func on of cri cism for Coleridge was to discern these . in reel and rout The death-fires danced at night.

as poet. Blake. Conclusion In ‘Natural Supernaturalism (1971) Abrams iden fied Early Roman c thought with Enlightenment no ons of democracy and rights of man which became spiritually transformed in the work of major Roman c poets. the early Roman c poetry secularism and humanism the Judeo . To Coleridge. theologian.elements and to li them into conscious awareness. Therefore the early roman cs with their sheer idealism towards revolu on. to combine a sense of the universal and ideal with an acute observa on of the par cular and sensory in his own poetry and in his cri cism. It was by means of this sort of reconcilia on of opposites that Coleridge a empted. fall and redemp on that has dominated western culture for 2000 years. and energies focused on the spirit strengthened the tenets on which the edifice of Roman c Poetry would stand. sin. rather than merely to prescribe or to describe rules or forms. with considerable success. Wordsworth and Coleridge became a force to reckon with.Chris an myth of innocence. though the later roman cs had their own defini ons and styles of poetry . non-ra onal understanding and for organizing and discrimina ng thought concerning the material world are reconciled. Coleridge expressed a profound concern with elucida ng an underlying crea ve principle that is fundamental to both human beings and the universe as a whole. social cri c. and psychologist. For Abrams. literary cri c. . In all his roles.but they took from an already rich tradi on of revivalist as well as radical form of wri ng. imagina on is the archetype of this unifying force because it represents the means by which the twin human capaci es for intui ve.