Isolation and loss are perhaps the two most dominant themes in the works of Samuel Taylor Coleridge, one of the greatest poets ever to write in English and the co-founder with Wordsworth of the Romantic movement. From lesser-known works such as "This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison" and "Fears in Solitude" to masterpieces like "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" and "Dejection: An Ode," his poetic vision of melancholy recollected produced a stunning array of verses represented here by the best and the best-known.
A devout Christian, Coleridge's faith permeates his poetry, though not in an overbearing or clumsy way.While he consistently revisits sorrow and pain, he just as consistently explores hope and salvation. Even poems with seemingly bleak ends—"The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" comes instantly to mind—are meant to encourage toward reflection and moderation, not mere angst. Given the incredible imagery and matchless command of language Coleridge summoned, it's hard to see how extended reading of his work could result in any other outcome than increased love of beauty and gratitude to the Lord of all things.
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