Study Guide

Samuel Taylor Coleridge Biography

Everything you need to know about Samuel Taylor Coleridge can be learned from the background story behind the poem "Kubla Khan."

In 1797, an over-medicated Coleridge dozed off in his desk chair. During a three-hour nap, the poet dreamed a complete epic poem about Mongol emperor Kubla Khan. He woke up, seized a pen and began to write, only to be interrupted by a knock on the door. Rather than ignoring the distraction and continuing to work, Coleridge spent an hour with his visitor. The man left and Coleridge returned to his work, only to check his brain and discover that the poem was—poof—gone.

"[W]ith the exception of some eight or ten scattered lines and images, all the rest had passed away like the images on the surface of a stream into which a stone has been cast, but, alas! without the after restoration of the latter!"

Childhood

Pantisocracy & Marriage

Wordsworth

Opium Addiction

Death

Family

Education

Work Experience

Major Works