samuel taylor coleridge on what elegy is (1835)

“Elegy is a form of poetry natural to the reflective mind. It may treat of any subject, but it must treat of no subject for itself; but always and exclusively with reference to the poet. As he will feel regret for the past or desire for the future, so sorrow and love became the principal themes of the elegy. Elegy presents every thing as lost and gone or absent and future.”

– S. T. Coleridge, Specimens of the Table Talk of the late Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1835), vol 2, p. 268

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