“Poetry is the arrangement of best words in their best order”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, born October 21, 1772, Ottery St. Mary, Devonshire, England—died July 25, 1834, Highgate, near London. The reputation of Coleridge as a critic is very high. He lays stress on the discursive nature of his critical writings and no wonder he has based his philosophical principles and he considers himself to be a great critic. He endeavours to establish the principles of writings rather than to furnish rules to pass judgement . Although Coleridge is criticized and he is not considered as a great critic but his critical works are surfeit with sincerity of feelings and honesty of emotions. His great critical works are Biographiya literature, lectures on Shakespeare and The Friend and The Table Talk.
Coleridge in his Biographiya literature has given the definition of prose and poetry and he has tried to distinguish between prose and poetry. He has not only given the definition of poetry but he has also defined the poet. The poet takes the whole soul of a man into activity, the activity of imagination, idealism the real and realizing the ideal.
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Coleridge’s view on fancy and imagination are of spectacular importance. The term fancy and imagination has often been used in a vaguely synonymous way to refer to the realm of fairy tail or to make belief. He tries to bring out the essential differences between the two. Imagination does the same function and it refers to the organic pattern. Again he tries to bring out the differences between the primary imagination and secondary imagination and he comes to the point that their is no difference between the primary imagination and secondary imagination. He evaluates fancy to be inferior of the two. It is not a narrative power, it only combines different things in the pleasing shapes. Coleridge illustrate fancy an imagination with Shakespeare’s famous poetic work Venus and Adonis. Coleridge keeps in his mind two famous poetic works of Shakespeare such as Venus and Adonis and The Rape of Lucrece and he gives the different between talent and true poetic genius. He says that there are some essential qualities of true poetry and they the music and melody, choice of subject matter, imagination and depth of thought and energy.
To write sth about music about music and melody, subject matter, imagination and thought etc. To sum up we can say that no critic before Coleridge reached this height. Dryden, father of English criticism tend but he has not define poetry in a better way. Coleridge has presented his feelings with a philosophical and psychological way. He says that psychology and metaphysics are his long hobby horse. He tried to interpret criticism Eliot much brassed.
Fancy imagination are the key elements in Coleridge theory of poetry. He has used it in Biographica literature(1817).
“Fancy is a metaphysical process which receives the elementary images.”
Most critics after Coleridge tried to distinguish fancy from imagination and he said that fancy is the faculty that produce a lesser, lighter or humorous kind of poetry and imagination the faculty that produces a higher, more serious and more passionate poetry.