Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Other Bardic Poets: Thomas Chatterton, Edward Jones, Iolo Morganwg, and Odin
This chapter situates the work of Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the context of his lifelong interests in all things bardic, Gothic, and Northern. Edward Jones and Iolo Morganwg are read in light of their influence on Coleridge and on their own merits. Coleridge’s concept of European culture as a legacy of Gothic liberty is traced from his school days to his lectures on literature in 1818. Finally, the chapter explores Coleridge’s keen self-consciousness regarding mediation: his explicit awareness of the ineluctable alterations produced when a poem is translated from one form to another. The chapter ends with a new reading of “Kubla Khan” as a poem that dramatizes the pathos of the desire to touch the distant bardic past.