S. T. Coleridge Poem Not For Export

A friend who reads The Guardian as does The Presence has sent me the story that a recently discovered poem that Samuel Taylor Coleridge wrote as a college student, in Greek, and as something of an abolitionist well before that was an accepted political or moral position to champion has been protected from export by the UK Ministry of Culture. See Export ban on Coleridge anti-slavery manuscript as British buyer sought’ for the whole fascinating story.

It seems the country holding the Elgin Marbles hostage in a museum for the better part of two centuries has the right to forbid the sale to foreigners of what it considers national treasures. Hypocrisy aside with respect to imperial pillaging still in captivity (but there are encouraging signs about the Parthenon Scupltures…), I get it, even to the point of confessing admiration for the protective action.

Why should Rowling fans care about Samuel Taylor Coleridge, besides Rowling having used a distant female descendant and poet for the lead epigraphs of Ink Black Heart? That’s a long story, but I have argued since Deathly Hallows Lectures was published in 2008 that STC is the most important author besides Dante that Rowling-Galbraith has never mentioned in an interview or via cryptonym. See here, here, here, and here from the HogPro archives for more on that link.

Or just enjoy The Guardian’s Estecean articles! I was delighted by the one on the poet-theologian-philosopher’s mortal remains and their current lodging in a wine cellar as well as by the speculation about Victorian Women poets enjoying a relaxing bit of opium (laudanum) to foster their reception to the Muse. None of those poets claimed to have used the drug in the hopes of being inspired to write a poem like Kubla Khan.

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