Coleridge: Religious and power of imagination

In the gap of “ Biographia Literaria, ” Samuel Taylor Coleridge uses capital letters to underline the thought that one of the poet ‘s ends should be “ to contemplate the ANCIENT of yearss and all his plants… ” ( Coleridge 629 ) , an obvious mention to God as Godhead. The writer so explains that the existent universe serves as a span to the supernatural, and that which is existent with regard to the occult is basically created by an innate power called imaginativeness ( 634 ) . The premise is that all readers have on juncture, even if by self-delusion, attributed unaccountable real-life state of affairss to forces outside of the natural universe via the power of imaginativeness, a cryptic force which, harmonizing to the writer, is granted to mankind and even controlled by an all-knowing Godhead ( 634 ) . He understands clearly that in order for a poet to make the work of a god – to raise the power of imaginativeness via the written word – he must use the sort of stirring worlds found merely in deep-seated beliefs and universally recognized truths, otherwise known as Religion.

Coleridge describes his theory of imaginativeness as a portal in theological footings. He describes the imaginativeness as the “ living Power and premier Agent of all human Perception, ” explicating that this unconditioned ability to make is the consequence of the “ infinite I AM ” ( 634 ) , a clear mention to a scriptural poetry in which the God of the Bible refers to himself as “ I AM THAT I AM ” ( Exodus 3:14 ) . Additionally, Coleridge had intended to compose a survey of the Gospel of John, but for one ground or another failed to make so ( 633 ) . The book of John is thought by most theologists to be more mystical than the other three Gospels, imparting acceptance to the impression that Coleridge, who refers to “ mysticism ” on legion occasions and rather perchance viewed the hallucinogenic effects of opium as a agency to tap into such thought, based his impression of the supernatural and its connexion to the common adult male on scriptural and spiritual surveies.

Coleridge drenches his poesy in mentions to Christianity and Catholicism. Ideas of redemption and damnation, supplication and repentance, and even the names Mary and Christ saturate the plants from get downing to stop. In “ Rime of the Ancient Mariner, ” Coleridge goes so far as to state “ He ‘ll rinse away the Albatross ‘s blood ” ( lines 508-514 ) , clearly a mention to some kind of absolution and rinsing off of wickednesss. And in “ The Eolian Harp, ” a verse form non typically regarded as a representation of Coleridge ‘s supernatural plants, the writer uses words and phrases such as “ rebuke ” and says he must “ walk meekly with my God ” ( lines 49 and 52 ) . He continues in the same stanza with talk of “ the household of Christ ” and “ the stubborn head ” ( lines 53 and 55 ) . Additionally, the writer borrows scriptural characters and narrative lines. For illustration, in “ Rime of the Ancient Mariner, ” one of three marrying invitees is stopped by the Mariner while en path to a nuptials feast. The invitee is compelled to go on listening and disregard a call to the nuptials as the Mariner tells his narrative ( lines 15-16 and 31-32 ) . This scene mirrors a scriptural fable in which the God of the Bible “ calls ” invitees to a nuptials feast where they are to expect a bridegroom – a image of the New Testament Messiah ( Matthew 22:1-14 ) . In the parable, those who hear the call and respond are rewarded, while those who become distracted and disregard the call are punished.

As antecedently stated, Coleridge was far from being entirely with regard to the usage of spiritual imagination in his Hagiographas. John Keats, for illustration, begins “ The Eve of St. Agnes ” with images of the rosary and repentance ( lines 5-6 ) , and rapidly touches on the thought once more with the line “ repentance for his psyche ” ( lines 24-26 ) . Biblical constructs of expiation and original wickedness are weaker yet still present in Keat ‘s “ La Bell Dame Sans Merci. ” Payment for falling under the enchantment of “ The beautiful lady without clemency ” is found in the concluding stanza, where the talker awakes on the “ cold hill side, ” where he is found “ entirely and pallidly lounging ” ( lines 44 and 46 ) . In scriptural footings, he has bitten from the out fruit and now must pay the monetary value for his wickedness. Additionally, Keats borrows the name Madeline ( line 55 ) from the ill-famed cocotte of the Bible, Mary Magdalene ( page 937 footer ) . The point is that Coleridge is non entirely in his theory that the power of spiritual imagination should be used by the poet in order to raise the forces of imaginativeness.

In the foreword to “ Lyrical Ballads, ” William Wordsworth says that poesy should link with the common adult male via “ the existent linguistic communication of work forces ” ( Wordsworth 408 ) . He farther explains his purpose to cover this “ existent linguistic communication ” with “ a certain coloring of imaginativeness, whereby ordinary things should be presented to the head in an unusual manner ” ( 409 ) . The thought, as explained by the writer, is to take a province of head or status of the organic structure or soul – in this instance the battles associated with a humble place in life – in order to interact with the reader when he is in a vulnerable province, or as Wordsworth describes, “ a province of exhilaration ” ( 409 ) . Consequently, Wordsworth and other poets of the clip dressed ore on the natural universe. However, a true connexion with the Black Marias and heads of the common individual would evidently imply the supernatural – those ideas and events deemed unaccountable to the general populace. Understanding this impression, and farther contemplating that the seeds of faith are the footing for world ‘s belief in the unaccountable, Coleridge merely embraces and expands the thoughts of Wordsworth in order to travel from the natural to the occult.

A poet trying to make the work of a God, Coleridge uses the stirring imagination found in scriptural narratives and fables to illume the fuse of imaginativeness. He understands there is “ no new thing under the Sun ” ( Ecclesiastes 1:9 ) , and the cryptic force of imaginativeness must be based in world. In short, Coleridge breathes life into shades, hobs, and other elements of the supernatural when he uses as a background spiritual imagination and the universally identifiable construct of original wickedness and the hereafter.

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