Love was always an important theme in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poetry, manifested in ‘Recollections of Love’ and ‘Love's whisper’. More frequently, however, in Coleridge's later poetry love is a threatening force or an aching void. Recognising this, in the editions of his Poetical Works published in his lifetime, the poet introduced the section containing most of his later poems' with a four-line motto bearing the Greek title ‘Love, always a talkative companion’. In some of what have come to be known as the ‘Asra’ poems, Coleridge's expression of unfulfilled feeling is bitterly direct. This is true of ‘Separation’, for which Coleridge wrote a memorable new beginning some time after the draft in one of his Notebooks. Another attempt to deal with the destructive power of love was through the mediated discourse of narrative along with his most ambitious attempt in this mode in his later years, the ‘Alice Du Clos’ completed in 1829.
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