MAKING OF POETRY: Coleridge, the Wordsworths

MAKING OF POETRY: Coleridge, the Wordsworths

ADAM NICOLSON    Book Number: 89418    Product format: Hardback

1797: one of the most important years in English poetry. In those 365 days, Coleridge produced epic 'Christabel', 'This Lime Tree Bower My Prison' and 'Kubla Khan' alongside Wordsworth's verses in Lyrical Ballads, 'The Idiot Boy' and the pastoral 'Tintern Abbey'. This book uncovers the origins of this poetic age as it retraces Wordsworth and Coleridge's shared days in the Quantock Hills in Somerset where the poets transcended and learnt more about themselves, nature and the world around them. The chapters are organised by monthly instalments over the year: starting in early June 1797 when Coleridge walked South through the lanes of Somerset and Dorset to visit Wordsworth and ending in August and September 1798 during which time the book that would join the two poets' names together (Lyrical Ballads) was published as an edition with simple eighteen lines of text to the page and without decoration. Celebrate the extraordinary nature of Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere which is lauded as a Miltonic and Burkean exercise in the sublime while appearing to be an ancient ballad with all the makings of the Odyssey and marvel at Wordsworth's open disparagement of the poem as 'poorly made, poorly written in its cod-medieval vocabulary and faux-simplicity.' Be transported by Wordsworth's love of the road in The Prelude where the road is not an escape from reality but a plunge into it and watch Wordsworth lose his anguish and gentlemanliness under the tutelage of Coleridge in July and August when the two poets were out on the road. The author explores the complex relationship between the poets, recording how Wordsworth's 'effusion' of poetry may have left Coleridge trailing behind but also commenting on how Coleridge would change some poems according to Wordsworth's strictures while both loving and fearing the Wordsworthian embrace. There are numerous poetic verses included in the book, from Wordsworth's 'Lines Left upon a Seat in a Yew-Tree', 'Incipient Madness' and 'The Description of a Beggar', to Coleridge's 'The Sea Mew', 'Frost at Midnight' and of course, The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere. The edition also includes stunning artwork from Tom Hammick who made woodcuts from the fallen timber in the park at Alfoxden where the Wordsworths lived which are included between the commentary, such as bright designs of a man staring at the woods at night (a piece called 'In the bosom of the darkest wood') and a rainbow village green with church and grazing horse called 'the vision of completeness' as well as abstractly coloured landscapes called 'Honeyed world', 'Cuxhaven packet' and 'Stowey swifts sweet-screaming'. This is a feast for the ears and eyes in a compelling exploration of Wordsworth and Coleridge, two beloved and brilliant English poets alongside the artistry of Tom Hammick. Colourful artwork, a thorough bibliography, index, 392pp.
Published price: £25
Bibliophile price: £8.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9780008126476
Browse these categories as well: Literature & Classics, Historical Biography

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