Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Literary Birthday – 21 October – Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born 21 October 1772, and died 25 July 1834.


  1. Advice is like snow; the softer it falls, the longer it dwells upon, and the deeper it sinks into the mind.
  2. Works of imagination should be written in very plain language; the more purely imaginative they are the more necessary it is to be plain.
  3. Common sense in an uncommon degree is what the world calls wisdom.
  4. Until you understand a writer’s ignorance, presume yourself ignorant of his understanding.
  5. I wish our clever young poets would remember my homely definitions of prose and poetry; that is, prose = words in their best order; – poetry = the best words in the best order.
  6. Readers may be divided into four classes: 1) Sponges, who absorb all that they read and return it in nearly the same state, only a little dirtied. 2) Sand-glasses, who retain nothing and are content to get through a book for the sake of getting through the time. 3) Strain-bags, who retain merely the dregs of what they read. 4) Mogul diamonds, equally rare and valuable, who profit by what they read, and enable others to profit by it also.
  7. He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.
  8. No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher.
  9. Poetry has been to me its own exceeding great reward; it has given me the habit of wishing to discover the good and beautiful in all that meets and surrounds me.
  10. I think nothing can be added to Milton’s definition or rule of poetry,— that it ought to be simple, sensuous, and impassioned; that is to say, single in conception, abounding in sensible images, and informing them all with the spirit of the mind.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, literary critic, and philosopher. Together with his friend William Wordsworth, he was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He wrote the poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner  and  Kubla Khan, as well as the major prose work Biographia Literaria.

Source for Image

Peter Vandyke, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 21st October 2013