Life Poems - Poems For Life - Human Life

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Human Life - Poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

If dead, we cease to be ; if total gloom
Swallow up life's brief flash for aye, we fare
As summer-gusts, of sudden birth and doom,
Whose sound and motion not alone declare,
But are their whole of being ! If the breath
Be Life itself, and not its task and tent,
If even a soul like Milton's can know death ;
O Man ! thou vessel purposeless, unmeant,
Yet drone-hive strange of phantom purposes !
Surplus of Nature's dread activity,
Which, as she gazed on some nigh-finished vase,
Retreating slow, with meditative pause,
She formed with restless hands unconsciously.
Blank accident ! nothing's anomaly !
If rootless thus, thus substanceless thy state,
Go, weigh thy dreams, and be thy hopes, thy fears,
The counter-weights !--Thy laughter and thy tears
Mean but themselves, each fittest to create
And to repay the other ! Why rejoices
Thy heart with hollow joy for hollow good ?
Why cowl thy face beneath the mourner's hood ?
Why waste thy sighs, and thy lamenting voices,
Image of Image, Ghost of Ghostly Elf,
That such a thing as thou feel'st warm or cold ?
Yet what and whence thy gain, if thou withhold
These costless shadows of thy shadowy self ?
Be sad ! be glad ! be neither ! seek, or shun !
Thou hast no reason why ! Thou canst have none ;
Thy being's being is contradiction.


Comments about Human Life by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

  • Rookie Chalo John (6/30/2016 1:51:00 PM)

    It is true that life is meaningless even though we forget that. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    2 person did not like.
  • Rookie - 0 Points Peter Cheyne (3/2/2016 1:57:00 AM)

    Instead of reading this poem as kind advice to a likeminded other, try reading it as Coleridge––who did not believe that once 'dead, we cease to be'––attempting to persuade an atheist that human life is indeed meaningful, and that our life is not 'Blank accident! nothing's anomaly! ' Those who believe, however, that human life is merely 'Blank accident', have no reason by their own premises, Coleridge is arguing, to be sad––or glad. (Report) Reply

  • Rookie - 264 Points Richy Alzy (2/25/2016 9:13:00 PM)

    ..Thy being's being is contradiction. Often times we seem to wonder the true purpose of our existence. If death could but have no effect on us, would life still be of value? This I keep pondering every now and then. Great work Sire! (Report) Reply

Read all 8 comments »

Poems About Life

  1. 1. A Psalm Of Life , Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  2. 2. Life , Charlotte Brontë
  3. 3. The Life That I Have , Leo Marks
  4. 4. Life In A Love , Robert Browning
  5. 5. A Life-Lesson , James Whitcomb Riley
  6. 6. An Old Life , Donald Hall
  7. 7. O Me! O Life! , Walt Whitman
  8. 8. The Pleasures Of Ordinary Life , Judith Viorst
  9. 9. What Is Life? , John Clare
  10. 10. My Life Closed Twice , Emily Dickinson
  11. 11. Full Of Life, Now , Walt Whitman
  12. 12. The Buried Life , Matthew Arnold
  13. 13. New Love, New Life , Amy Levy
  14. 14. A Plain Life , William Henry Davies
  15. 15. Life And Art , Emma Lazarus
  16. 16. As I Ebb'D With The Ocean Of Life , Walt Whitman
  17. 17. Later Life , Christina Georgina Rossetti
  18. 18. Human Life , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  19. 19. Ignorant Before The Heavens Of My Life , Rainer Maria Rilke
  20. 20. Love In A Life , Robert Browning
  21. 21. Life In A Bottle , Robert Browning
  22. 22. Life Is What Life Is , Edward Veilleux
  23. 23. What Is Life? , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  24. 24. Life (The Real Meaning Of Life) , C.N.Premkumar (love poems, V ..
  25. 25. A Life , Howard Nemerov
  26. 26. An Image From A Past Life , William Butler Yeats
  27. 27. Life Life Life Life Life Life Life Life .. , Abdul Wahab
  28. 28. Too Much Of A Good Thing (Life Life Li.. , Udiah (witness to Yah)
  29. 29. River Of Life, The , Thomas Campbell
  30. 30. Life , Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  31. 31. The Life Of Man , Sir Francis Bacon
  32. 32. The Lords Of Life , Ralph Waldo Emerson
  33. 33. Each Life Converges To Some Centre , Emily Dickinson
  34. 34. Xxxvi Life-In-Love , Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  35. 35. Life Is Love, And Love Is Life , Anna Jonson
  36. 36. The Course Of Life, Time, And Events And.. , Merlin Archivilla
  37. 37. Still Life , Thom Gunn
  38. 38. Ebony Life , Robert Desnos
  39. 39. A Life Went Wrong.......The Denial Of Life , saadat tahir
  40. 40. In The Morning Of Life , Thomas Moore
  41. 41. A Life Of Death, Or The Death Of Life , Andre Veilleux
  42. 42. (c) 1 (Life/Philosophy) Life Is.... , Renu Rakheja a.k.a Tranquil ..
  43. 43. Ploughman's Life, The , Robert Burns
  44. 44. The Treasure Of Life , Olive Walters
  45. 45. Life Beyond, The , Rupert Brooke
  46. 46. An Adventure In The Life Of King James V.. , William Topaz McGonagall
  47. 47. Views Of Life , Anne Brontë
  48. 48. Still-Life , Elizabeth Daryush
  49. 49. Modern Love Iv: All Other Joys Of Life , George Meredith
  50. 50. My Life Had Stood , Emily Dickinson
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