Review: The Friendship by Adam Sisman | Books | The Guardian
One summer day in , after walking 40 miles, young Samuel Taylor Coleridge bustled down a Dorset hillside and burst through a cornfield. one another; they did so in a way that challenges ordinary methods of assessment. Coleridge's relation to Wordsworth as it does that of Dorothy. This content. In her review of Adam Sisman's book, “The Friendship, Wordsworth and Coleridge,” in The Telegraph, Frances Wilson takes issue with.
Especially in his later years, Coleridge concerned himself a great deal with God, religion and faith. Coleridge not only examined the Bible, but he also studied the Trinitarian view of Christianity along with the works of St.
On the contrary, Wordsworth was an Anglican, as well as a pantheist. Although he did focus on God through nature as a pantheist, Wordsworth differed from Coleridge in that he did emphasize religious symbolism. The stress Coleridge placed on religion and God is ironic because this poem intended to address the strain on his relationship with Wordsworth.
This poem addressed God and referenced religious anecdotes i. One would imagine that if Coleridge were addressing the problematic relationship he would use language that is partial to Wordsworth, and refrain from involving ideology different from that of Wordsworth. On a very deep level, this may be an attempt by Coleridge to use juxtaposed concepts to convey his point. However, it is important to note that Coleridge integrated God into this poem. It displayed that even though he was concerned about his relations with Wordsworth, a very worthwhile topic, he felt that he could best address the situation by incorporating religious references.
What Did William Wordsworth Do to Samuel Taylor Coleridge?
Wordsworth refrained from bringing God into the issue, but instead used a literary device to convey his sentiment. Wordsworth comments on the situation from a simple standpoint and does not involve God or a higher being; however, Coleridge makes the situation more intricate by involving God.
On the surface, this is an example of Coleridge complicating things that Wordsworth deemed simple. However, to truly understand why Coleridge involved God in his poem and why Wordsworth did not, one must understand how they each individually interpreted symbolism. In contrast, he is looked inside himself but not inside his soul, while Coleridge asserted that man must look inside himself and it is there he will find inspiration in God.
Whether their differences stemmed from religion, means of inspiration, or simply poetic diction, it is evident that these two poets were uniquely individual. Moreover, although Samuel Coleridge is often paired with William Wordsworth, upon further examination one can plainly see that the two poets are undoubtedly different.
The similarities between them often overshadow their individual achievements, ideas, and styles.
Combined with the fact that his opium addiction crippled his poetic potential, these elements portray Coleridge as less accomplished poet than Wordsworth. Regardless of popular opinion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge possessed his own unique poetic diction, sought non-traditional methods of poetic inspiration, conveyed original theories about the imagination, and distinctly incorporated his religious philosophies into his poetry. It is for these reasons that Samuel Taylor Coleridge remains a pillar for the Romantic era of poetry.
Coleridge and Wordsworth; Language of Allusion. This source focuses on the relationship between Coleridge and Wordsworth, both as friends and as collaborators. Newlyn mentions that the friendship eventually faded but the reason the two were so complementary was because they were very different.
This source is of particular interest to me because it focuses on the differences between the two poets, and that will help in contrasting Coleridge with Wordsworth. In addition, this source will allow me to examine the men as friends and co-workers, and that can help me to see if either of those two relationships affected the other. The shortcomings of this source would have to be the fact that some of the information is not supported very strongly.
Coleridge and Wordsworth; A Lyrical Dialogue. This source concentrates on the complexity of the lyrical dialogue between Coleridge and Wordsworth in their poetry. One must read between the lines in order to identify the dialogue between these two men in their poetry. The author contends that this dialogue arose due to the fact that Coleridge and Wordsworth recognized similar themes and styles in their writing. This source is of value to me because it we help me grasp a better idea of the poetic relationship that existed between the two.
In addition, the dialogue is hard to interpret so this source will make it easier to understand. Nevertheless, this source still holds value because it will break down the dialogue between the two men in several of their well-known poems. Wordsworth and Coleridge in Their Time. The lives, letters, and criticisms of Coleridge and Wordsworth are covered in this particular source.
The Friendship: Wordsworth and Coleridge
Wordsworth's epic autobiographical poem, known posthumously as The Prelude, was conceived as a meditation addressed to Coleridge; Wordsworth in turn contributed a key stanza to Coleridge's most famous poem, "The Ancient Mariner"; and Clare, a solitary-seeming figure if ever there was one, relied on his better-educated friends to help him polish his work.
The creative relationship between Wordsworth and Coleridge is therefore a wonderful topic for Adam Sisman, whose previous book was a marvellous account of the publication of Boswell's Life of Johnson. The press release for The Friendship announces that this is the first joint biography of the two writers, which is curious since Sisman's account is heavily indebted to Nicholas Roe's Wordsworth and Coleridge: Coleridge, the Hutchinsons, and the Wordsworths in It does not inspire confidence that Worthen's name is misspelled and that Sisman has not availed himself of critical studies by Lucy Newlyn and Paul Magnuson that reveal the process of poetic dialogue between Coleridge's dark "Dejection Ode" and Wordsworth's joyful "Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood".
The book begins promisingly with the moment when Coleridge vaulted over a gate and bounded across a field to meet William and Dorothy at their temporary home at Racedown, in Dorset, on a June afternoon in So began the annus mirabilis that ended with the publication of Lyrical Ballads. The reader is led to imagine that there will be a quick retrospective view of the lives of the two poets before they met, then a detailed account of the decade of their togetherness and an explanation of their falling out in But the introduction is followed by a prologue and the prologue by a first part called "Strangers", which begins with an account of the French revolution.
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge in Contrast to William Wordsworth
- What Did William Wordsworth Do to Samuel Taylor Coleridge?
It is not until pagenot far short of the halfway mark, that we return to the jump over the gate. The decision to devote so much space to the two men's separate lives before their poetic convergence is a tactical disaster. It means that when Sisman does finally turn to their lives together, he has no space to create a sense of place, to bring alive the wider circle of family and friends, or for more general reflection on literary friendship, inspiration and collaboration, the crucial idea of poetry as "conversation" or the significance of anonymous publication neither poet's name was on the original title-page of Lyrical Ballads in These failures are baffling, given the success of Sisman's previous book in using the relationship between Boswell and Dr Johnson to open up larger questions about biography, celebrity, hero-worship and the relationship between table talk and text.
The failure to animate the supporting cast is the greatest deficiency. Southey and his works are now almost unknown, but he was a prime mover in the emergence of the Lake school and the vision of "pantisocracy" in which the young poets and their girlfriends dreamed of living together in a commune.Blake, Wordsworth, and Coleridge
He was also a key figure in the personal life of Coleridge: