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British State RomanticismAuthorship, Agency, and Bureaucratic Nationalism$
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Anne Frey

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780804762281

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804762281.001.0001

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Fragment Poems and Fragment Nations

Fragment Poems and Fragment Nations

The Aesthetics of Ireland in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Late Work

(p.21) One Fragment Poems and Fragment Nations
British State Romanticism
Stanford University Press

This chapter examines how Coleridge's late work, including On the Constitution of the Church and State, transposes his model of organic form from poetry to politics to consider the interrelationship of Britain's component regions. In doing so, Coleridge casts colonies such as Ireland as fragments, “parts” that cannot be wholes of their own but which are not fully incorporated into the British nation. Based on a reading of his vitriolic essays on Ireland alongside his fragment poems, it is argued that both his early and later use of fragments assume that social frames structure our perceptions, and that the absence of these frames produces social disintegration and poetic failure. For Coleridge, Ireland remains a fragment that requires British rule, and its people, subjects who cannot aspire to full citizenship.

Keywords:   Church and State, poetry, politics, Britain, Ireland, colonies, fragments, social frames

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