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Author's Name: Wordsworth William Coleridge Samuel Taylor
Coleridge first met William Wordsworth in 1795, when he traveled to the Dorset home where the poet lived with his sister Dorothy. He walked 50 miles to get there, and as he approached Wordsworth noticed that their over-excited visitor "did not keep to the high road, but leaped over a gate and bounded down a pathless field by which he cut off an angle." The two bonded instantly. When Wordsworth learned that Coleridge moved to Nether Stowey, he and Dorothy packed up and moved there too.
For a solid year between 1797 and 1798, Wordsworth and Coleridge were in close, daily contact. They took long walks together and spent hours discussing poetry and literature. The two men were at the forefront of what is now known as the Romantic period. For Romantics, nature was the only source of real inspiration, the only place where men could truly connect to their deepest and most powerful emotions. In the rugged beauty of the Lake District, Wordsworth and Coleridge had nothing but inspiration. They began to talk of a new kind of poetry, one that relied on the reader's imagination and the honesty of simple language to evoke powerful feelings. They decided to write a collection of poetry together. Wordsworth's job was to write poems about everyday topics; Coleridge would tackle poems about "persons and characters supernatural" that were true enough to provoke in readers "that willing suspension of disbelief for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith."
Lyrical Ballads (1798) is a landmark collection of poems that marks the beginning of the English Romantic Movement in literature. Co-written by friends William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, the collection broke away from traditional poetic form. Of the twenty-three poems, Wordsworth penned works such as 'Lines written a few miles above Tintern Abbey' and 'The Idiot Boy' that use colloquial speech and take the everyday as their theme. The collection also includes Coleridge's greatest poem 'The Rime of the Ancyent Marinere', a supernatural tale of a sailor's voyage.
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