Biographia Literaria, Volume 1

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These two volumes are a reprint of the edition of 1817 with additional material to clarify the text. It includes Coleridge's aesthetical writings; notes on the text; and an introductory essay about his theory of imagination.
 

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Page 215 - Or man, or woman. Yet I argue not Against Heaven's hand or will, nor bate a jot Of heart or hope, but still bear up and steer Right onward.
Page lxvii - The primary Imagination I hold to be the living power and prime agent of all human perception, and as a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I AM...
Page xl - Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines How silently ! Around thee and above Deep is the air, and dark, substantial, black, An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it, As with a wedge! but when I look again, It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine, Thy habitation from eternity! 0 dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee, Till thou, still present to the bodily sense, Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer 1 worshipped the Invisible alone.
Page xxxvii - But now afflictions bow me down to earth: Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth; But oh! each visitation Suspends what nature gave me at my birth, My shaping spirit of Imagination.
Page 202 - I consider as an echo of the former, co-existing with the conscious will, yet still as identical with the primary in the kind of its agency, and differing only in degree, and in the mode of its operation. It dissolves, diffuses, dissipates, in order to re-create: or where this process is rendered impossible, yet still at all events it struggles to idealize and to unify. It is essentially vital, even as all objects (as objects) are essentially fixed and dead.
Page xxxvii - I been gazing on the western sky, And its peculiar tint of yellow green: And still I gaze — and with how blank an eye! And those thin clouds above, in flakes and bars, That give away their motion to the stars; Those stars, that glide behind them or between, Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always seen: Yon crescent Moon, as fixed as if it grew In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue; I see them all so excellently fair, I see, not feel, how beautiful they are!
Page 4 - I learned from him, that poetry, even that of the loftiest and, seemingly, that of the wildest odes, had a logic of its own, as severe as that of science; and more difficult, because more subtle, more complex, and dependent on more, and more fugitive causes.
Page 12 - Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows, While proudly riding o'er the azure realm In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes; Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm; Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening prey.
Page xxxvii - My shaping spirit of Imagination. For not to think of what I needs must feel, But to be still and patient, all I can; And haply by abstruse research to steal From my own nature all the natural man — This was my sole resource, my only plan: Till that which suits a part infects the whole, And now is almost grown the habit of my soul.
Page 125 - Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining, And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining...

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