Samuel Taylor Coleridge

(1772-1834 / Devon / England)

The Suicide's Argument - Poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Ere the birth of my life, if I wished it or no
No question was asked me--it could not be so !
If the life was the question, a thing sent to try
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Comments about The Suicide's Argument by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • (6/23/2009 9:45:00 PM)

    I. Argumentum ad Hominem (abusive and circumstantial) : the fallacy of attacking the character or circumstances of an individual who is advancing a statement or an argument instead of trying to disprove the truth of the statement or the soundness of the argument. Often the argument is characterized simply as a personal attack.
    A. The personal attack is also often termed an 'ad personem argument': the statement or argument at issue is dropped from consideration or is ignored, and the locutor's character or circumstances are used to influence opinion.
    B. The fallacy draws its appeal from the technique of 'getting personal.' The assumption is that what the locutor is saying is entirely or partially dictated by his character or special circumstances and so should be disregarded.
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  • (6/23/2009 8:08:00 PM)

    You are a bit much, Michael Harmon! No one has suggested the term is pejorative, except that it is a fallacy, and most of us who read and study poetry realize that is the case! I do not get the point you seem to make over and over again and at such great length each and every time you post a comment. Of course, it's a figure of speech, and what is the point of your 'citation needed' references? Cite what's needed and get on with it, for God's sake, man! Did none of your teachers in composition stress the importance of making your case without tons of useless bombast? You think Marcos and lovely sounds have a clue as to what you're spouting about? I think I know what you're up to and I'm not impressed! For the sake of brevity, man, don't quote verbatim an entry from Wikipedia, all right? It's not exactly the scholarly reference you take it to be! (Report) Reply

  • (6/23/2009 4:52:00 PM)

    Pathetic fallacy
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    The pathetic fallacy or anthropomorphic fallacy is the treatment of inanimate objects as if they had human feelings, thought, or sensations.[citation needed] The pathetic fallacy is a special case of the fallacy of reification. The word 'pathetic' in this use is related to empathy (capability of feeling) , and is not pejorative.
    The pathetic fallacy is also related to the concept of personification. Personification is direct and explicit in the ascription of life and sentience to the thing in question, whereas the pathetic fallacy is much broader and more allusive.

    [edit] History
    The term was coined by the critic John Ruskin (1819–1900) in his 1856 work Modern Painters, in which he wrote that the aim of the pathetic fallacy was “to signify any description of inanimate natural objects that ascribes to them human capabilities, sensations, and emotions.' In the narrow sense intended by Ruskin, the pathetic fallacy is a scientific failing, since most of his defining paper[1] concerns art, which he maintains ought to be its truthful representation of the world as it appears to our senses, not as it appears in our imaginative and fanciful reflections upon it. However, in the natural sciences, a pathetic fallacy is a serious error in scientific reasoning if taken literally.
    [edit] In literature
    Literary critics after Ruskin have generally not followed him in regarding the pathetic fallacy as an artistic mistake, instead assuming that attribution of sentient, humanising traits to inanimate things is a centrally human way of understanding the world, and that it does have a useful and important role in art and literature. Indeed, to reject the use of pathetic fallacy would mean dismissing most Romantic poetry and many of Shakespeare's most memorable images. Literary critics find it useful to have a specific term for describing anthropomorphic tendencies in art and literature and so the phrase is currently used in a neutral sense. Josephine Miles in Pathetic Fallacy in the Nineteenth Century: A Study of a Changing Relation Between Object and Emotion, influenced by William Wordsworth’s discussion of the practice, argues that “pathetic bestowal” is a neutral and therefore preferable label. However labeled, the practice occurs in any number of accomplished twentieth-century writers, including William Carlos Williams, Theodore Roethke, Mary Oliver, Eavan Boland, and John Ashbery.
    It is a rhetorical figure and a form of personification. In the strictest sense, delivering this fallacy should be done to render analogy.[citation needed] Other reasons to deliver this fallacy are mnemonic.[citation needed]
    [edit] Examples
    Ruskin quotes a stanza from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's Maud as an 'exquisite' example of pathetic fallacy:
    There has fallen a splendid tear
    From the passion-flower at the gate.
    She is coming, my dove, my dear;
    She is coming, my life, my fate.
    The red rose cries, 'She is near, she is near; '
    And the white rose weeps, 'She is late; '
    The larkspur listens, 'I hear, I hear; '
    And the lily whispers, 'I wait.' (Part 1, XXII,10)
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  • (6/23/2009 3:30:00 PM)

    very good.
    very well put together.
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  • (6/23/2009 10:54:00 AM)

    well nice poem you have, I agree... For me who loves romantic poems, I like the suicide version of Romeo and Juliet very tragic and romantic otherwise this is poem right? Who describe the poet feeling or experience in life... I am sorry if I'm being naif but honestly I don't mean a bad things here... Tks (Report) Reply

  • (6/23/2009 10:13:00 AM)

    Of course, many people contemplate suicide for the reasons cited in the first stanza. However, some would argue that there is a difference between Coleridge's NATURE and Straw's NATURE RED IN TOOTH AND CLAW and Servell's CREATOR who has 'much to say' to us and any prospective suicides among us. There is another perspective to be considered, however, if we take into account the tendency of poets to credit NATURE with the emotions of human beings. This tendency led to a phrase coined by John Ruskin - 'pathetic fallacy'! NATURE does not speak to us using human language to communicate in any way whatsoever. NATURE is indifferent to our sufferings, to our life and to our death alike. NATURE does NOT give us life and death; it is NOT a well-spring of anything - NATURE just IS! Atleast that's how I understand Ruskin's 'pathetic fallacy' and its effect on us. (Report) Reply

  • (6/23/2009 7:26:00 AM)

    I like the peom because it focuses on the most important question of all: is life worth living, or what is the meaning of life or what is happiness? I like the poets' question more than I like the answer to the question. I think everybody on earth in all times, sooner or later come to this point where they ask this question.

    To me it seems fair enough to ask our Creator to help. Honestly I would be very sad if my Creator had nothing more to say than what nature says in this poem. I can almost imagine that the Creator's answer might not differ that much from what nature says in this poem but the Creator of all life does have so much more to say and more importantly he can and will help.
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  • Kevin Straw (6/23/2009 6:32:00 AM)

    It's not so simple as that! Nature is red in tooth and claw, as well as being a well-spring of joy. Life and death are its gift - it gives youth and then takes it away, it gives health and destroys it with disease. People have found their lives unbearable for one reason or another throughout history. Often the reason why they commit suicide is because Nature, they feel, has left them no alternative. (Report) Reply

  • (6/23/2009 3:44:00 AM)

    i enjoyed it much it makes me re think about my saying like dont live life like the hermit crab in the bottom of the teary sea seek out for help dont hide away and abadon all hope you have good write (Report) Reply

  • (6/23/2009 3:41:00 AM)

    what an interestin poem (Report) Reply

  • (6/23/2007 2:29:00 AM)

    A tough one for all those youths and miserables with the living daylights in their minds... (Report) Reply

  • (6/23/2006 7:06:00 PM)

    Ye teenagers, learn well the lesson here. Suicide is for pussies! ! ! (Report) Reply

  • Gil Gregorio (6/23/2004 11:16:00 AM)

    Splendid expression of hatred and compassion. The suttleness of expression made the whole poetry it! (Report) Reply

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