By Ewan James Jones
Ewan James Jones argues that Coleridge engaged most importantly with philosophy no longer via systematic argument, yet in verse. Jones includes this argument via a chain of sustained shut readings, either one of canonical texts similar to Christabel and The Rime of the traditional Mariner, and likewise of much less regularly occurring verse, similar to Limbo. Such paintings exhibits that the basic components of poetic expression - a poem's metre, rhythm, rhyme and different such formal beneficial properties - enabled Coleridge to imagine in an unique and designated demeanour, which his systematic philosophy impeded. Attentiveness to such formal good points, which has for your time been missed in Coleridge scholarship, allows a rethinking of the connection among eighteenth-century verse and philosophy extra widely, because it engages with concerns together with impact, materiality and self-identity. Coleridge's poetic considering, Jones argues, either consolidates and radicalises the present literary severe rediscovery of shape
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Extra info for Coleridge and the philosophy of poetic form
Sea, hill and wood, - / - / This populous village! Sea, and hill and wood Even prior to the explicit repetition, we experience a recurrent rhythmical patterning, finding each line emphatically divided (by the full-stop and exclamation, respectively), where six syllables bearing two stresses equally precede the punctuation. The pause in line 11 is all the greater for attending the exclamation, and when the voice recovers itself it stresses ‘[s]ea’ all the more firmly, as if steeling itself for a refrain.
And if Malbranche and Berkeley reject the primary properties & make all phænomena subjective, 28 Coleridge and the Philosophy of Poetic Form they make compensation M. by placing the Object in God, B. 56 While Berkeley and Malebranche might here seem to assuage their discontent in essentially complementary ways, the Berkeleian emphasis upon ‘the mind immediately without any material Go-between’ would increasingly disconcert Coleridge. 57 Later still, Malebranche would have come to represent a retreat or repose from what Coleridge increasingly called ‘speculative’ or ‘transcendental’ idealism.
But this negation now persists until the end of the line, whose preterite (‘fluttered’) appears to mark a terminated action, only for the succeeding clause to reanimate it. Such vigilance proves unsustainable. Where in ‘This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison’ mind continued to attempt to apostrophise the material world into being, ‘Frost at Midnight’ is already aware of its complicity in constituting reality. If the poem suspects this from the onset, it also has to learn its full extent. 77 Here, respectively, are the 1798 and 1829 versions: With which I can hold commune.