On This Day in 1821: Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Little-Known Love For Aphorisms

By Jack Orchard

The BARS ‘On This Day’ Blog series celebrates the 200th anniversary of literary and historical events of the Romantic period. Want to contribute a future post? Get in touch.

In solidarity with the University College Union strikes for pensions and improved working conditions which took place in the first week of December 2021, BARS observed a digital picket line, and out of respect for this, the author and editor of this post agreed to delay its publication from the 3rd of December.

The 3rd of December 2021 is the 200th anniversary of a strange, meandering and gnomic letter from Samuel Taylor Coleridge to his friend Thomas Allsop. Poet and Coleridge scholar Adam Neikirk takes us through this letter to explore the poet’s fascinating and esoteric approach to the aphorism.

Ab Hydromaniâ Hydrophobia: from Water-lust comes Water-dread. But this is a violent metaphor, and disagreeable to boot. Suppose then by some caprice or colic of Nature an Aqueduct split on this side of the Slider or Sluice-gate, the two parts removed some 20 or 30 feet distance from [each] other, and the communication kept up only by a hollow Reed split lengthways, of just enough width and depth to lay one’s …read more

Source:: https://www.bars.ac.uk/blog/?p=3994