Poet, critic, and essayist Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was born on this day in Devonshire, England and has been celebrated as one of the most influential literary figures of the Romantic movement.
"Earth with her thousand voices praises God," he said.
The tenth and last child of the town's vicar, the brilliant writer was educated at Cambridge and became interested in philosophy and religion. Romanticism grew from his passion, imagination, and supernatural vision.
"If a man is not rising upwards to be an angel, depend upon it, he is sinking downwards to be a devil," he observed.
Coleridge published a volume of poetry with William Wordsworth in 1798 that featured his best known and most enduring narrative poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, an original tale of sin, punishment, and redemption.
"Water, water everywhere," he wrote. "Nor any drop to drink."
His other famous works, Kubla Khan and Christabel, both written in 1816, featured supernatural imagery and symbolism. He called them "conversation poems" and celebrated the originality and creativity of his work.
In 1827, he wrote:
"Prose=words in their best order;
Poetry=the best words in the best order."
Rely on your heart to see clearly.