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» » Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Wordsworth Poetry Library)
Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Wordsworth Poetry Library)

Works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (Wordsworth Poetry Library)

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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4.7 of 5
Wordsworth Edition; New Ed edition (September 1, 1998)
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7 Reviews
  • One of the most memorable events in my childhood was when someone, I don't remember who, got me a copy of Robert Lewis Stevenson's "A Child's Garden of Verses. I can't say that it made me a lover of poetry, because I recall years when I was actually annoyed when something I had to read, such as Shakespeare's plays, was in verse. I got over that quickly, when I realized the riches which could be found in those iambic pentameters.

    But Stevenson is not a "great" poet. Coleridge, on the other hand is one of England's greatest poets, perhaps second or third among the five great English romantic poets, including Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron, and Keats. If I had children, this is what I would read to them. It is part of a series, covering several poets in English. Check them out.

  • A beautiful copy and truly exceptional customer service! I'm delighted with my purchase and would strongly recommend Salt Creek First Editions to anyone! It's very refreshing to find a seller with such high standards for integrity and quality!

  • Though now the least known and read of the great English Romantic poets, Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote some of the language's most immortal poems, including "Kubla Khan" and "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner." William Wordsworth's contemporary, he exercised a profound influence on the better-known writer and the younger Romantics, the latter being especially impacted by his fascinations with the occult and supernatural as well as his innovations with form. Coleridge indeed originated or perfected many genres that soon became English poetry standards, such as the conversation poem (e.g., "This Lime Tree Bower my Prison"), while works like "Christabel" were simply revolutionary on technical grounds. Also, with Wordsworth, he helped bring ballads back into vogue. More important than all this is that his best poems still stand up as remarkable instances of a singular vision - dramatically engaging, technically competent, intellectually respectable, and thematically intriguing. Though not in English poetry's upper echelon, Coleridge remains an important writer with whom anyone seriously interested in poetry must be familiar.

    This great collection has a generous selection - thirty-five poems over 133 pages. It is not merely representative but essentially comprehensive, containing nearly all of Coleridge's notable poems. This moves it beyond a mere primer; everyone but hard-cores and scholars will be fully served except those wanting substantial supplemental material. As this is an inexpensive edition, we get only a table of contents and a chronology; anyone wanting biographical or critical material, notes, or line numbers must look elsewhere. There are many such editions, but this will certainly satisfy most. The packaging is actually quite nice, especially considering the price; the book is a hardback with strong binding and even a built-in bookmark. Some may dislike its smallness, though the print is relatively large, but at least as many will be glad it can be pocketed. All told, anyone wanting anything less than a critical and/or comprehensive edition could do no better.

  • Admitedly I do not read a lot of poetry, and this is my first review on Amazon of a poetry book (and I have several hundred reviews). Given this caveat, Coleridge is my favorite poet, and I enjoyed this collection of his works. There are a lot of poems here, arranged roughly in chronological order, which makes for an interesting progression in the poet's thoughts and styles. Of course, the composition dates of all the poems are not known exactly, and some were rewritten over a number of years. It does give this collection a randomness in subject matter that makes reading it cover-to-cover an easier matter than if poems had been arranged by subject matter (although not so good for reference purposes, I suppose). Similarly, it is a good book for picking up and choosing a random page to read.

    There are some technical issues that disappoint me about this volume. There are voluminous notes, but they are confusingly numbered. There is no translation (unless supplied by Coleridge himself) of Greek phrases - I'm sure that the majority of Coleridge's original audience had enough Greek to make sense of these passages, but I do not. The typeface is quaintly archaic, but ultimately a little hard on the eyes. These minor issues are enough for me to deduct a star in the star ratings. I would also have liked to have seen the "early drafts" printed beside the final drafts so that a direct comparison could have been easily accomplished, instead of having to flip back and forth to the appendix. This is a personal preference and I'm sure many would prefer it the way it is, with early drafts and alternate versions collected in the appendix and only the published version in the main body of the book.