To Mr.Whitman, From Mr.Coleridge

Dear Mister Walt Whitman                                                                       January 29th, 1799

I have recently read your poem Songs of myself and I felt like I needed to write you a letter about it, because this poem really gave me a lot of opinions I want to share with you.

You are dragging things way too far Walt Whitman! When I write poetry I do not write like this. For example, in my book that I recently published with William Wordsworth, William and myself do write about things like nature, passion and equality. But it is a disgrace how you put dirt all over the modern poets’ name like this! For instance, when you write in the first part of Songs of myself, “I will go to the bank by the wood and get undisguised and naked.” First of all, this is highly inappropriate! You do not write these kinds of things in poetry that is for everybody to read. Second of all, you are a big name in modern literature. Think of the massive influence you can have on people. What if this becomes the new trend? Running out to the forest, getting naked! You could start a whole new movement of nudism, and I think most people would agree with me when I say we don’t want that to happen in our society.

Moreover, I would like to comment on the way you are talking about and describing death in your poem, and make it clear that I strongly disagree. While I do respect your opinion, I want to say that I think it is very unrealistic and naive that death can be a good thing! You are talking about disappearing forever, stopping to breathe and never seeing the ones you love ever again! Will you please explain to me how that can possibly be a good thing

Furthermore, I want to give you a friendly suggestion and complement you because I do feel like I have been very critical towards you, and I apologize. I just really felt the need to express my thoughts to you. Well, my suggestion to you is to include some more supernatural elements in your poetry. It attracts readers! Additionally, it is good to be open, but not too open about things. There is a line, learn where it is, because you have crossed it. Finally, I want to complement you on the way you talk about equality, it really inspired me. Especially the part where you say; “For every atom belonging to me, as good belongs to you.”

Good luck on your future career as a poet,

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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7 comments to To Mr.Whitman, From Mr.Coleridge

  • Aaron

    Haha I really enjoyed reading this post. I laughed when you said that if being naked becomes ‘a new trend’. I found this to be hilarious. I also agree with you that his poem lack supernatural elements. If his poems had more supernatural elements, I am sure they would be ten times more exciting to read!

  • (Jolly) Nga Wan

    “I have recently red “, it’s “I have recently read”
    Past and present tense of “read” is spelt the same!

  • Sanaa

    Nice letter! (I specifically liked your second paragraph). You made Coleridge’s “voice” and personality really straightforward and clear which made it way more interesting to read.

  • (Jolly) Nga Wan

    Woah, woah, woah! Chill, relax Coleridge!! You’re shouting at Whitman’s face! (or the impression was given in a like way)
    It really sounded as if Coleridge is writing in FUUURRRRRYYYY!!! (fury) It’s awesome!

    • (Jolly) Nga Wan

      Oops I had more to say but I clicked “post” too fast…
      The letter starts all calm, like the soft winds brewing before a storm.
      Then, BAM!!! Disgrace in his FACE! Here are some examples of “!” exclamation marks you used:
      “dragging things way too far Walt Whitman!”
      “But it is a disgrace how you put dirt all over the modern poets’ name like this!”
      ” this is highly inappropriate! ”
      “out to the forest, getting naked!”
      “that death can be a good thing!”
      “never seeing the ones you love ever again!”
      Then a warm breeze sweeps the clouds of fury away, and away for good. Flowers bloom and birds sing and praise for Whitman.

  • Aurora

    Thanks I guess:p but i kinda think coleridge’s mood changed a little too much thorughout the letter. Although I really just wanted to show that colerdige disagrees, but then he also likes some parts of the poem..

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