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Ware, J.G. (1961). Coleridge's Great Poems Reflecting the Mother Imago. Am. Imago, 18(4):331-352.

(1961). American Imago, 18(4):331-352

Coleridge's Great Poems Reflecting the Mother Imago

J. Garth Ware, B.A, M.D.

Freud was always wary of analysis of the creative process. He confined himself to the general statement, “Artists are endowed with a powerful capacity for sublimation and with a certain flexibility in their repressions.” He did state, though, that “the source of their creative impulse must lie in some important unconscious phantasy.” Jones, in his biography of Freud, narrates how Freud was “singularly modest when touching on the psychology of art or of the artist. He gives the impression of having flinched from the problem as if he were deterred from approaching nearer by his enormous respect for artists and for some mysterious magic of genius.” It is noteworthy that Jones sardonically ended these remarks with the observation that other analysts often fail to display Freud's delicate reticence.

The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born 21 October 1772 in an English country vicarage. Even in an era of large families, his position was unusual. He was the youngest child of thirteen and by his own admission was “petted and fondled excessively almost from my nativity.” Knowledge of Coleridge's childhood is extensive due to his fondness for copious literary reminiscences of his early days. He describes himself as a precocious and imaginative child, never mixing with other boys. Rather, he “took no pleasure in boyish sports, but read incessantly.” In his Biographia Literaria, Coleridge narrates how he as a child:

became a dreamer, and acquired an indisposition to all hodily activity.

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