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In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past, focusing on their nature poetry. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to the most important poets in our literature.
In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
– Kubla Khan
Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834) was born in Ottery St Mary, Devon, the youngest son of a clergyman. He first met Dorothy and William Wordsworth in 1797 and a close association developed between them, issuing in their groundbreaking joint-publication, Lyrical Ballads, in 1799. Coleridge subsequently settled in the Lake District , and thereafter in London. He died in 1834, having overseen a final edition of his Poetical Works. As poet, philosopher and critic, Coleridge stands as one of the seminal figures of his time.