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Samuel Taylor Coleridge to those who know and understand his poems well exists in three modes as Philosopher Poet Friend If the truth were told we should all be obliged to admit that the Philosopher escapes us It is the opinion of many that Coleridge as Poet is almost equally an evanescent shadow and though the many are in this quite mistaken they have some excuse for thinking thus because his fulfillment falls far short of his promise Due to Coleridges complex styles of writing the concept and meaning of his poems can be taken in more ways than one and are often criticized by the individual reader but the true meaning only lies inside his headThe failure to appreciate how extremely great the fulfillment exists the causes of this injustice to Coleridge the Poet are the splendor of the three poems of his which everybody knows and admires and also the habit of regarding him as a mere satellite of Wordsworth or at least as Wordsworths weaker brother These are his Poems of Friendship They cannot be even vaguely understood unless the reader knows what persons Coleridge has in mind They are for the most part poems in which reference is made with fine particularity to certain places They were composed as the expression of feelings which were occasioned by quite definite events Between the lines when we know their meaning we catch glimpses of those delightful people who formed the golden inner circle of his friends in the days of his young manhood They may all be termed as Coleridge himself names one or two of them Conversation Poems for even when they are soliloquies the sociable man who wrote them could not even think without supposing a listener They require and reward considerable knowledge of his life and especially the life of his heart This is not so certainly the case with his three famous Mystery Poems in which the spellbound reader
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