Tag Archives: Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The Eclipse Brought 2 Poems to Mind

While watch the solar eclipse, I conflated two poetic passages, one from “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” the other from “The Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence.”

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Caves of Ice, Prophecies of War

Scientists are detecting faster-than-predicted melting of the Greenland glaciers, which would lead to catastrophic sea level rise. Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan,” with its caves of ice and prophecies of war, comes to mind.

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The Simple Creed: Man’s Duty to Man

This poem about the Good Samaritan by Australian working class author Henry Lawson depicts the Samaritan as a figure from the outback.

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Crohn’s Disease and the Mariner’s Agony

A student with Crohn’s disease found a kindred soul in Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner.

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Nature and “My Babe So Beautiful”

I saw my latest grandchild for the first time yesterday. Although it was beautiful spring day, Coleridge’s beautiful “Frost at Midnight” came to mind. That’s because the poet imagines “the great universal teacher” imparting a spirit of inquiry to his infant son.

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The Very Deep Is Rotting in Flint, Michigan

The water crisis experienced by the residents of Flint, Michigan is described in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” Now they just need a governor who, like the mariner, is genuinely penitent.

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My Cries Cannot Pierce Thy Silent Ears

George Herbert poetry is admirable in the way he wrestles with his spiritual doubts. He may owe a debt to “The Book of Job,” where we also see such wrestling.

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Earth Day: Please Brake for Woolly Bears

Scott Bates’ Earth Day poem calls for protecting even caterpillars. After all, sometimes they grow up to be Keats’ tiger moths with their “deep damasked wings.”

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The Peace of Wild Things

My Intro to Literature class explored how a disconnect from nature leads to existential anguish while opening themselves up to nature provides spiritual nourishment.

Posted in Berry (Wendell), Clifton (Lucille), Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Euripides, Kingsolver (Barbara), McCarthy (Cormac), Oliver (Mary), Shakespeare (William), Silko (Leslie Marmon), Sir Gawain Poet, Wordsworth (William) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cain: A Positive Way Past Collective Guilt

Nazi perpetrators who turned to Christianity avoided true contrition. Both the story of Cain and “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” show how to really get right with God.

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What Extreme Cold Teaches Us

As Coleridge and Mary Oliver teach us, when we are trapped in extreme cold, we come to value life.

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The Mariner’s Advice to College Students

“Rime of the Ancient Mariner” appeals to college students because it explores how to live a meaningful life.

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Ancient Mariner as a Halloween Poem

“Rime of the Ancient Mariner” has passages appropriate for Halloween.

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Waiting for the Tide to Turn

Dickinson, Coleridge and Dickens come to mind as we await the moment of my father’s death.

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Poems Teach Us to Be Wise

Two young student athletes in my Intro to Literature took important lessons from “Rime of the Ancient Mariner” and a Wendell Berry poem.

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The Fiscal Cliff as Kubla Khan’s Chasm

Our looming fiscal cliff can be imagined as Coleridge’s “deep romantic chasm” in “Kubla Khan.”

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Kane: Sunny Pleasure Dome, Caves of Ice

Film Friday I’m teaching Citizen Kane currently in my American Film class and am struck, once again, by the influence that Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” had on the movie. My father and I tried to make this case in an article that we wrote on Citizen Kane a number of years back (described here), and while the editors […]

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What Fictional Fantasy Means

Having taught British Fantasy Literature for the first time last semester, I need to think back on it before it becomes a distant memory.    By reflecting publicly, I can share some of the insights I gained from the course. Two major things I learned are that (1) fantasy is an oppositional genre—by which I […]

Posted in Andersen (Hans Christian), Carroll (Lewis), Chaucer (Geoffrey), Coleridge (Samuel Taylor), Dickens (Charles), Grahame (Kenneth), Grimm Brothers, Haggard (Rider), Keats (John), Kipling (Rudyard), Rossetti (Christina), Shakespeare (William), Sir Gawain Poet, Tennyson (Alfred Lord), Tolkien (J.R.R.) | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments closed

Essay Grading and the Great Wall of China

At this time of year, I sometimes wonder why I signed up for this gig. Stacks of ungraded essays are strewn “far and wee” across my study, and only the knowledge that I have completed my student essays in the past assures me that I will make it through this batch. In my hour of […]

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Washing Away Michael Vick’s Sins

Spiritual Sunday In a follow-up to yesterday’s post on football quarterback Michael Vick, I want to elaborate further on Coleridge’s argument for penance. Penance is not only the right thing to do. It also can make you feel very, very good. Coleridge gives us images in Rime of the Ancient Mariner that drive this point […]

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Europe and America, Fantasy Projections

North Americans have regarded Europe as a cultural Mecca for a long time and often use their summer vacations to travel there as though on a pilgrimage.  This has been true of a number of American writers, including Mark Twain, Henry James, the ex-patriots of the 1920’s (Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Gertrude Stein), and T. S. Eliot.  […]

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When It’s Hard to Pray

Spiritual Sunday I’ve been thinking about why it’s sometimes hard to pray for help. Perhaps it’s because asking for help seems an affront to our prideful self sufficiency. Perhaps it’s because we fear that we are not worthy to receive it. I think of how Coleridge’s ancient mariner is so filled with self-loathing that he […]

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