What Is Life? by Samuel Coleridge

Life by Samuel Coleridge: Samuel appears to be considering that life itself is enlightenment or consciousness. Our ability and perception to interact with our world are dependent upon our conscious mind. Without any consciousness, life would be meaningless. The main aspect of this poem for me is the tension caused by the use of opposites; for example, pain and joy, light and darkness, life and death

Poem Text

Resembles Life what once was held of Light,
Too ample in itself for human sight?
An absolute Self – an element ungrounded –
All, that we see, all colors of all shade
By encroach of darkness made ?-
Is very life by consciousness unbounded?
And all the thoughts, pains, joys of mortal breath,
A war – embrace of wrestling Life and Death?

What Is Life? Review

Samuel Coleridge does it yet again. He beautifully expresses something as simple and something as complex as Life and Death and everything in between. And he does it with the bare minimum number of words.

Life by Samuel Coleridge

Life is symbolized with Light, here. Light stands for all things beautiful, bright and forgiving. However, sometimes it is blinding. Light and life are so vast in themselves that they are often not seen by mundane, human eyes. All that we see is darkness formed by colors painted on one another. Our eyes cannot segregate one from the other.

Life by Samuel Coleridge

At a junction such as this, the poet asks a question – is life running wild, unbounded by something as binding as consciousness? Is everything – thoughts, pains, joys, everything that a mortal being ever indulges in, a constant war between Life and Death?

The few lines make a person think deeply about his or her life and everything surrounding it. How mundane we are, yet how important for Life and Death to survive.

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