In this unusual selection, a poet-critic of the 20th century encounters a poet-critic of the 19th, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834). William Empson, assisted by David Pirie, chooses from Coleridge's vast and uneven oeuvre the salient poems; he edits and annotates them. Here is a classic example of Empson's techniques of creative and scholarly reading, an introduction to the work of the most haunting poet in the English language. "The pith of my system", says Coleridge, "is to make the senses out of the mind not the mind out of the senses, as Locke did". Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was born in Ottery St Mary, Devon. He attended Christ's Hospital School in London as a charity boy. Charles Lamb was a junior classmate. In 1791 he went to Jesus College, Cambridge. In 1795 he met Wordsworth, with whom he composed "Lyrical Ballads". Between 1795 and 1802 he wrote his best poems and poetic torsos including "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner", "Christabel", "Frost at Midnight", "Kubla Khan" and his final masterpiece, "Dejection: An Ode".
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in Ottery St Mary, Devon in 1772. He was the youngest son of the local vicar. He attended Christ's Hospital School in London as a charity boy. In 1791 he went to Jesus College, Cambridge, but did not complete a degree. He began to publish poems in 1793, and in 1795 he met Wordsworth, with whom he composed Lyrical Ballads. Coleridge's best known poems and poetic torsos include 'The Aeolian Harp' (1795), 'The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner' (1797) and his final masterpiece, 'Dejection: An Ode' (1802). He died in 1834.