Sunday, August 10, 2008

Some stray thoughts on the Romantics

... was reading from Coleridge's Biographia Literaria just the other day (I continue reading from that anthology), and found myself nodding in agreement when he asserts that poets from a couple of generations previous -- that is, Pope and his followers -- seem to him "[in] matter and diction characterized not so much by poetic thoughts, as by thoughts translated into the language of poetry." Way to go, Sammy!

If Wordsworth had had a cellphone, he would never have been able to write the Preludes. Right in the middle of his contemplation of "the night-calm felt through earth and sky" -- *Ring!* Damn it, STC on the line! Don't want to talk to him!

Come to think of it, when that person "on business from Porlock" banged on Coleridge's door, detained him for an hour, and prevented him from writing out his vision of Kubla Khan, that may well have heralded the beginning of our present Age of Interruption....

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