By Raimonda Modiano
Coleridge and the idea that of Nature:
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Extra info for Coleridge and the Concept of Nature
Wordsworth held out for Coleridge the attractive prospect of becoming a successful poet, acceptable to his partner, if he abandoned the supernatural ideal and concerned himself instead with the feelings which grow from 'little Incidents' among 'rural Objects'. The extent to which Coleridge accepted the Wordsworthian challenge is evident from the number of naturalistic poems he kept on devising. As much as one might sympathize with Charles Lamb's regret that Coleridge stopped writing 'Christabels and Ancient Mariners', it is important to realize that after 1800 Coleridge tried very hard to do just that, to move away from a supernatural poetry that had incurred Wordsworth's opprobrium.
Rather, Coleridge conceived of the picturesque as encouraging an active exchange between the mind and natural objects and preparing the mind for its journey beyond sensory appearances. The term 'picturesque' appears frequently in Coleridge's landscape notes, and during his early tours in Germany and the Lake District it usually carries traditional associations, designating rugged forms, precipitous heights or objects which embody energetic forces in nature, such as waterfalls (see CN, 1,412 f. 25v; 537 f.
Like Coleridge, Chateaubriand follows the varied movements of the birds, as they chase insects, fly up into the sky, or dive down towards the surface of the lake, but his description is much more difficult to visualize than Coleridge's. By far Coleridge and the Picturesque 19 the most striking feature of Coleridge's note is its sustained graphic quality. We never lose sight of the precise movement of the birds , from the geometric shapes they draw on the sky during their elegant glide, to the shrinking and swelling of their flock.
Coleridge and the Concept of Nature by Raimonda Modiano