A Short Analysis of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘Sonnet: To the River Otter’

Coleridge, the co-author with Wordsworth of Lyrical Ballads, was born in Ottery St Mary in Devon in 1772. The village is named for the river which passes through it – the river which Coleridge eulogises in this Romantic sonnet, ‘To the River Otter’, recalling his childhood when he skimmed stones along the river’s surface:

Sonnet: To the River Otter

Dear native Brook! wild Streamlet of the West!
How many various-fated years have past,
What happy and what mournful hours, since last
I skimm’d the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps! yet so deep imprest
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes
I never shut amid the sunny ray,

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A Short Analysis of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s ‘Youth and Age’

‘Youth and Age’, as the title suggests, explores the passing of time and the onset of old age. What does it mean to grow old? In this great Romantic poem about ageing, Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) grapples with this very question.

Youth and Age

Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee—
Both were mine! Life went a-maying
With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,
When I was young!

When I was young?—Ah, woful When!
Ah! for the change ’twixt Now and Then!
This breathing house not built with hands,
This body that does me grievous wrong,
O’er aery cliffs and glittering sands,
How lightly then it flashed along:—
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore,
On winding lakes and rivers wide,

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A Short Analysis of Coleridge’s ‘Kubla Khan’

Analysed by Dr Oliver Tearle

‘Kubla Khan’ is perhaps the most famous unfinished poem in all of English literature. But why the poem remained unfinished, and how Samuel Taylor Coleridge came to write it in the first place, are issues plagued by misconception and misunderstanding. How should we analyse this classic poem by one of the pioneers of English Romanticism?

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The Best Coleridge Poems Everyone Should Read

Six of Coleridge’s finest poems selected by Dr Oliver Tearle

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was one of the leading English Romantic poets, whose Lyrical Ballads, the 1798 collection Coleridge co-authored with Wordsworth, became a founding-text for English Romanticism. In this post, we’ve picked six of Coleridge’s best poems, and endeavoured to explain why these might be viewed as his finest poems.

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