1856 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Rogers, in Table Talk (1856) 203.



Coleridge was a marvelous talker. One morning when Hookham Frere also breakfasted with me, Coleridge talked for three hours without intermission about poetry, and so admirably that I wish every word he had uttered had been written down. But sometimes his harangues were quite unintelligible, not only to myself, but to others. Wordsworth and I called upon him one forenoon, when he was in a lodging off Pall Mall. He talked uninterruptedly for about two hours, during which Wordsworth listened to him with profound attention, every now and then nodding his head, in assent. On quitting the lodgings, I said to Wordsworth, "Well, for my part, I could not make head or tail of Coleridge's oration: pray did you understand it?" "Not one syllable of it," was Wordsworth's reply.