S.T. Coleridge As a Romantic Poet and Supernatural- Part I
With the publication of "Lyrical Ballads" in 1798, Coleridge, alongwith Wordsworth, became the founder of Romantic Movement in England. He is primarily known to us for his poetic fancy which inspires the readers in his wonderful and supernatural poems: "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Kubla Khan". Coleridge is also known to us as a critic through his "Biographia Literaria". Like all other romantic poets, he is a dreamer with the perfection of a creative genius. To him "poetry is the lava of imagination". Poetry of Coleridge carries the beauty of Nature as well as supernatural beings. The prime features of his poetry include supernatural, fancy, imagery, Nature, dramatic change, mystery, musical touch and suspension of disbelief. All such characteristics make his poems wonderful and fantastic. In his pursuit of Nature, Coleridge may also be coined an escapist, a trait common to all Romantic poets.
Poetry of the Supernatural and Mystery:
Unlike other Romantic poets, Coleridge lets his fancy at large to relate the tales of supernatural and unreal phenomena. However, the poet blends the unbelievable with the real world in such an artistic manner that the readers are bound to believe the supernatural as if it were real. There is always mystery in the poems of Coleridge. "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" is full of mystery and supernatural. The story of the old mariner himself is no less than a mystery. Mystery and supernatural are at best in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner":
"Her lips were red, her looks were free,
Her locks were yellow as gold:
Her skin was as white as leprosy,
The Night-mare LIFE-IN-DEATH was she"
Beautiful Imagery:Romantic poetry is all about colorful and beautiful imagery. This imagery is replete with the beauty of Nature at most time. And Coleridge is no exception. All his poems are full of the images and color words creating layers and layers of meaning besides creating visual story for the readers. In "Dejection", "The Rime of Ancient Mariner" and "Kubla Khan" the use of fanciful images creates such wonderful scenery which beggars description. The color words help the poet convey the aesthetic beauty of theme he had in mind. For example the words, "water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink", "caves of ice", "a dulcimer", "caverns", "deep romantic chasm", "demon lover", "her lips were red", "leprosy" etc. are the exquisite examples of colorful imagery which create the semblance of beauty.
Read Part II...