English Literature

Coleridge’s Career by Graham Davidson

By Graham Davidson

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Although there is a definite disjunction in this poem between the 'one Life' vision and the return to fight the truth in Christ, the poem does not end with this battle cry. Rather the happiness he has known in his cottage and dell, and which he thinks has enabled him to climb the stony mount of knowledge, to an experience of God's omnipresence, as it had in 'The Eolian Harp', is the happiness he seeks for all, the end for which he goes to fight on Christ's behalf: ... sweet Abode! Ah!

Spinoza 2. e. the absolute and the relative, the [according to what really exists] and the [according to man], or 1 the ontosophical, 2 the anthropological. [CN III 3756]2 Coleridge's admiration for both men was profound, but by 1812 his preference was decide<;l. Crabb Robinson records that although Coleridge declared that Spinoza was a gospel to him, he added, 'his philosophy is nevertheless false. Spinoza's system has been demonstrated to be false, but only by that philosophy which has 18 The Conversation Poems 19 demonstrated the falsehood of all other philosophies.

It seems that his use of the word is ambivalent: it refers both to cause and effect, to the incident or event, and to the specifically human emotion it revives or renews in the character. Whatever doubt Coleridge had as to whether the focus of a supernatural poem is the extraordinary incident, or the character created in the light of such pressures and in different degrees both 'The Ancient Mariner' and 'Christabel' bear evidence of this dual pressure - seems resolved in favour of the character by two other passages: 'And the excellence aimed at was to consist in the interesting of the affections by the dramatic truth of such emotions, as would naturally accompany such situations supposing them real.

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