Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Contrast to William Wordsworth
The early collaboration of the poets William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge marked the beginning of the Romantic period of poetry. Together, these two poets laid the foundation for this new style in the introduction to their work Lyrical Ballads. Although he is often “paired” with his counterpart Wordsworth, there are several differences in Coleridge’s poetic style and philosophical views. Coleridge’s poetry differs from that of Wordsworth, and his association with Wordsworth overshadows Coleridge’s individual accomplishments as a Romantic poet. In addition, Coleridge’s poetry complicates experiences that Wordsworth views as very simple and very commonplace. Samuel Taylor Coleridge has a poetic diction unlike that of William Wordsworth, he relies more heavily on imagination for poetic inspiration, and he also incorporates religion into his poetry differently. Wordsworth’s conception of poetry hinges on three major premises. Wordsworth asserts that poetry is the language of the common man: Poetry should be understandable to anybody living in the world. Wordsworth eschews the use of lofty, poetic diction, which in his mind is not related to the language of real life. He sees poetry as acting like Nature, which touches all living things and inspires and delights them. Wordsworth calls for poetry to be written in the language of the "common man," and the subjects of the poems should also be accessible to all individuals regardless of class or position. Wordsworth's critical ideas are manifested in his writing. He uses the language and subjects of the common man to convey his ideas. While Wordsworth's critical ideas obviously worked for his poetry, Coleridge differed in his take on the art. Coleridge did not agree that poetry is the language of the common man. He thought that lowering diction and content simply made it so that the poet had a smaller vocabulary of both words and concepts to draw from. ....
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