With this collection, renowned Colridge biographer Richard Holmes casts new light on the poets sensibilities and accomplishments. Holmes divides the poems into eight categories of theme and genre, dispelling the myth of Coleridge as “the metaphysical dreamer” and rediscovering him as a Romantic autobiographer of tremendous power and range.
At the heart of Selected Poetry are the Conversation Poems, a unified and beautifully crafted autobiographical sequence written over a period of twelve years. A series of little-known love poems to Asra, which combine understated passion and desperate directness, reflect the depths of Coleridge’s feelings for Sara Hutchinson, his unattainable lifelong love. The volume also includes the robust Hill Walking Poems, and the secret agony of the Confessional Poems, as well as previously undervalued later poetry born of Coleridge’s restless old age and his ironic reflection on his life.