Coleridge's Poems

The Socially Revolutionary Nature of Coleridge's Conversation Poems 12th Grade

The Romantics sought to distinguish their work from the Enlightenment Era’s prioritisation of logic and reason by rejecting and, in effect, redefining literary convention. Coleridge’s conversation poems are considered hallmarks of Romanticism for their revolutionary treatment of form and confrontation of core 19th century values. As a means of celebrating the imagination and communicating with the common man, the dramatic reconsideration of form is evident in This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison through Coleridge’s employment of blank verse and decreased adherence to poetic structure. Revolutionary in their subject matter, Coleridge also contradicts prominent religious and economic values in 19th century England. In Frost at Midnight, the poet promotes the innocence of the child in strong opposition to Christian tenets outlining original sin. The poet’s articulation of pantheistic beliefs presents nature as a refuge from industrialisation, contradicting economic paradigms within English society promoting increased mechanisation. Therefore Coleridge’s conversation poems are revolutionary in their fresh approach to form and confrontation of predominant social values.

In celebrating the imagination, a poet’s rejection of rigid poetic...

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