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Richard Holmes's radical division of the poems into eight categories of theme and genre casts a fresh light on the whole structure of Coleridge's work. It dispels the myth of the 'metaphysical dreamer' who wrote poetry only for a few ephemeral months of inspiration. At the heart are the Conversation Poems, a unified and beautifully crafted autobiographical sequence, composed over a period of twelve years. The volume also includes the little-known love poems to Asra, the robust Hill Walking Poems and the secret agony of the Confessional Poems. It also draws attention to previously undervalued later poetry born of restless old age and ironic reflection.
With this collection, renowned Colridge biographer Richard Holmes casts new light on the poets sensibilities and accomplishments. Holmes divides the poems into eight categories of theme and genre, dispelling the myth of Coleridge as "the metaphysical dreamer" and rediscovering him as a Romantic autobiographer of tremendous power and range. At the heart of Selected Poetry are the Conversation Poems, a unified and beautifully crafted autobiographical sequence written over a period of twelve years. A series of little-known love poems to Asra, which combine understated passion and desperate directness, reflect the depths of Coleridge's feelings for Sara Hutchinson, his unattainable lifelong love.
The volume also includes the robust Hill Walking Poems, and the secret agony of the Confessional Poems, as well as previously undervalued later poetry born of Coleridge's restless old age and his ironic reflection on his life.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was a poet, critic, and philosopher of Romanticism. He and William Wordsworth published the Lyrical Ballads in 1799, marking a conscious break with 18th-century tradition.
Richard Holmes is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and was awarded an OBE. The first volume of his biography of Coleridge won the 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year Prize.