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The Coleridge Collection Part II: Verse

An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism and Scholarship
Volumes I-III
Walter B. Crawford
With the research and editorial assistance of
Ann M. Crawford


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[S II.3 1895] SYMONS, Arthur. "Intermezzo: Venetian Nights." London Nights. (1895). Rev edn 1897. Rpt in The Collected Works of Arthur Symons, 9 vols, Martin Secker (1924), rpt NY: AMS P (1973), I, 219-20.

  • According to Karl Beckson, Arthur Symons: A Life, Oxf: Clarendon P (1987), p 105: [In 1894] "Symons wrote a series of four poems [but five are in his Collected Works] with the title 'Intermezzo: Venetian Nights', which depicts the speaker's romantic and Coleridgean loneliness amidst the masts, nights, and water desolation." In "I. Veneta Marina" are masts in "the night of the sky" reflected in "the water's night," and "I too . . . / Alone with the night again, / And the water's monotone; / I and the night alone." In "II. Serata di Festa" the poet wanders "loveless and alone"; and the last stanza is quoted by Beckson: "I am a shipwrecked sailor, lost / For lack of water on the sea: / Water, but none for me; / Water, but I, thirsting and fever-tossed, / In much abundance lost." Coleridgean are the echoes of The RAM.
  • Discovered by Arnold T Schwab.

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[S II.3 19??] JENKINSON, John S. "STC Addresses The Creative Writing Class." Silent Treatment, No. 4, p 14.

  • Four lines, 14 words, with play on the phrase "recollect your emotions in tranquility" and the name "words worth."
  • In the Locklin Collection, Special Collections Department, CSULB Library.

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[S II.3 197?] LEVIS, Larry. "Slow Child with a Book of Birds." Date not known at this writing.

  • Quoted and commented on by Eric Gudas in Poetry Flash: A Poetry Review & Literary Calendar for the West (No. 290, Ja-Mar 2003, pp 1-8), in an omnibus review of three collections of the poetry of Levis: The Selected Levis, ed David St John (U of Pittsburgh P, 2000); The Selected Levis, Revised Edition, including twelve poems from Elegy, ed David St John (U of Pittsburgh P, Ja 2003); The Gazer Within, ed James Marshal et al. (Poets on Poetry: U of Michigan P, 2001).
  • "In ‘Slow Child with a Book of Birds,' Coleridge is summoned as a touchstone for Levis's forthright and almost tender vision---characterized indeed by a fundamental ‘tact & decency'---of brutality:

Coleridge at

The rail of a ship sailing back

From Malta---his mind surveying

Itself, the hushed, broken toys it carried

Home in a private ridicule & shame,

Watching as two sailors from America

Tortured a pelican on a deck by tossing

Scraps to it, then flailed it with sticks

When it tried to eat ... [sic] Coleridge

Saw the world to come."

  • Discovered by Arnold T Schwab.

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[S II.3 1971] BELL, A Robert L. ["A facetious query . . . ."] Final Comprehensive Examination in survey course in British literature at California State University, Long Beach, 4 and 6 Ja 1971.

  • "Below is a facetious query to which you are to give a serious answer: . . . .
  • "Wordsworth, as far as is known, had only one fling, / The Annette Vallon thing. / . . . . / Coleridge, who could walk a hundred miles without a blister / Cared less for his wife than for Wordsworth's sister. / . . . . / The answer to which is not as easy as pie; / Which Romantic was the most romantic, / And why? / (with apologies to Richard Armour)."

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[S II.3 1976] COLLINS, Billy. "Names." MidAtlantic Review, 1(3) (W 1976), p 46.

  • Earlier version of the poem published in his Video Poems (1980--C8262).
  • In the Locklin Collection, Special Collections Department, CSULB Library.

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[S II.3 1977] PALMER, Leslie. "Coleridge, Cactus, Fish and Boy." Wind / Literary Journal, 7(26) (1977), 46.

  • Three stanzas, 17 lines. Concludes: "Coleridge, now your fingers are sand and bone. / So must I be and my young son. / Though now our love's full of bones like fish, / it too must yield, be yanked from life. / Still pilgrims come to your headstone quiet, / honor what rests in weedy places, living art."
  • In the Locklin Collection, Special Collections Department, CSULB Library.

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[S II.3 1993] HALL, Donald. "Another Elegy." Iowa R. Rpt in his The Museum of Clear Ideas, Bost: Ticknor & Fields, Houghton Mifflin (1993). Rpt in The Best American Poetry 1994, ed A R Ammons, NY: Scribner's Sons (1994), pp 64-70, with "Contributors' Notes and Comments" including Hall's account of poem's evolution, pp 225-6.

  • Thirteen years in the making, the poem evolved from an elegy for poet James Wright who died in 1980 to a poem "for a generic poète maudit of our generation" under the persona "William Trout." From the poem: "I remember / Bill depressed, drinking double Manhattans straight up, taunting himself: 'Compassion's flack! Elmer Gantry or Guggenheim grief!' In C's Notebooks, he underlined: 'Poetry--excites us to artificial feelings--callous to real ones'" (p 67).
  • Discovered by Arnold T Schwab.

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[S II.3 1995] CROW, Christine. "Xanadu." In Xanadu 3. Ed Jane Yolen. (Tor Books) NY: Tom Doherty Associates (1995). Pp 141-2.

  • Poem's epigraph: "Where Alph, the sacred river, ran / Through caverns measureless to man / --Coleridge, 'Kubla Khan'." Its two verse paragraphs of mostly tetrameter lines (26, 12) adapt some of the structure and use or adapt lines and images from KK. The final lines: "For life on honey-dew doth feed, / a pleasure-dome beyond compare, / a fantasy more dear than dream, / drunk on the milk of Paradise!"
  • Anthology contains 36 hitherto unpublished fantasy short stories and poems. First half of editor's introduction, "Xanadu and Porlock, Too" (pp 11-12) develops the interruption theme, with references to Stevie Smith's poem on the subject (1966--C8230) and to Norman Mailer and Frank Herbert.

[S II.3 1995] McGEACHIE, Lynne. "From my Window at Grasmere." Cumbria, 45 (N 1995), 41. Il with color photo by Graham Thompson.

  • Poet watches an autumn dawn beyond the window from her pillow: clouds, sheep, ravens, "ancient walls that trundle . . . past the white farm on the Raise. . . . And just when I start to think of . . . Samuel Taylor Coleridge and King Dunmail ... [sic] Our Border collie, Mist, with a wet nose, breaks my reverie." Free verse, 22 lines. Photo captioned, "Grasmere lake and village, with snow on Fairfield, from Red Bank."

[S II.3 1995] PECK, Cornelius. "Lines Written between Alfoxden and Nether Stowey." CB, ns No 6 (Au 1995), p 59.

  • A free-form "sonnet," metrics approximately 55688585657748 abac1 c2 c3 efgfghih. The poet walks where C walked, the path in the star-lit black night bringing "ancient thoughts" to his mind and lifting his "tethered heart." Grammatically obscure.

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[S II.3 1998] BRADING, Tilla. "Sara." Coleridge Bulletin , NS 19 (Sp 2002), 75-6. First pubd in her AUTUMnal JOUR, Maquette Press (1998).

  • Sara Coleridge Coleridge: "marginalised by sex," "shadow of a brilliant father / putting in order / his literary house; / keeping her husband's house / (in order) . . . . " (31 lines, 84 words).

[S II.3 1998] GOODLAND, Giles. Overlay. Odyssey Poets, Coleridge Cottage, Nether Stowey, Somerset (1998). 33 pp.

  • This poem, prompted by C's notebooks, etc, is an imaginative handling of C's thought and style written in The RAM format with text and gloss. Organized into twelve parts headed by names of months from June through May, the poem is written in the first person as if representing C's stream of consciousness. It often uses abbreviated word-forms and is sans punctuation and most capitalization except for breaks indicated by a virgule (/). The gloss is written in the third person in standard prose. Here is a text sample, line breaks marked by |: "July | no stool/ sense of weight | at scrobiculus cordis/ | a month since my last entry | & failure to embark | on the embayed work | I've steered in nubibus | as no more than untranscribed | notions: 'the Origin of | Evil an epic poem'/ leaves | upturned as the twilight wind | plays at th head of a young | poplar/ pen immobile in | th darkness wch sticks down | all thru wch so much moved/....."

[S II.3 1998] LOCKLIN, Gerald. "wordsworth, coleridge, and the endorphins." Press, no 9 (1998), 87-8. Rpt in author's The Firebird Poems, 2d (enl) edn, ed Donna Hilbert, Foreword by Edward Field, Palm Springs, CA: Event Horizon P (1999).

Free verse, 46 lines.

i was swimming at the y the other day
and feeling more tranquil with each passing lap,
when suddenly it came to me
why coleridge turned into a drug addict
and wordsworth didn't: (lines 1-5)

[W "was always climbing . . . or hiking."]
. . . now coleridge,
of course, tagged along on a few of
these forays, but you get the feeling
that his heart was not truly in the
highlands but in the libraries. his
idea of a great workout was to match
his considerable grey matter against
the intricacies of german philosophy.
. . . you can see why he ended
up in dejection and on opiates. (lines 15-22, 24-5) //

fortunately, he had a wise physician
who prolonged his life and intellectual
labors with miniature doses of their
day's equivalent of methadone. clearly
america could use a guy like that as
surgeon general. . . . for the time being i would
continue to recommend the natural
morphine produced by swimming. (lines 26-31, 33-35)

[S II.3 2001] HALSEY, Alan. "STC: Initials as Structure." CB, NS 17 (Summer 2001), 92-4. First pub by Stride Magazine in 2001.

  • Headnote by Richard Holmes refers to "the initials STC carved at the very back of the cave." Pixies' Parlor near the River Otter, which "suddenly seemed to me like a symbol of the essentially cumulative process of biography itself."
  • Poem in 22 three-line unrhymed , interwoven stanzas using "the techniques of verbal collage and improvisation" [says the CB editor]. In each stanza the lines begin with C's initials. Concluding stanzas:

Sensation of shattered fragments of penitent initials put inwardly


Together an immense heap supplying the whole sense wanted: a tra


Ckless unknown initial the last of my being a


Somewhat fitter Ins


Trument than unmeaning blank fuga


Cious initials without material re


Siduum the vivid odorous clusters of initials a sort of music I


Tremble to think what


Cruelly initial recollections the words but initials of air.