‘Could a rule be given from without, poetry would cease to be poetry, and sink into a mechanical art. It would be μóρφωσις, not ποίησις. The rules of the IMAGINATION are themselves the very powers of growth and production. The words to which they are reducible, present only the outlines and external appearance of the fruit. A deceptive counterfeit of the superficial form and colours may be elaborated; but the marble peach feels cold and heavy, and children only put it to their mouths.’ [Coleridge, Biographia ch. 18]

‘ποίησις’ (poiēsis) means ‘a making, a creation, a production’ and is used of poetry in Aristotle and Plato. ‘μóρφωσις’ (morphōsis) in essence means the same thing: ‘a shaping, a bringing into shape.’ But Coleridge has in mind the New Testament use of the word as ‘semblance’ or ‘outward appearance’, which the KJV translates as ‘form’: ‘An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form [μóρφωσις] of knowledge and of the truth in the law’ [Romans 2:20]; ‘Having a form [μóρφωσις] of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away’ [2 Timothy 3:5]. I trust that's clear.

There is much more on Coleridge at my other, Coleridgean blog.

Wednesday, 2 November 2022

THE THIS: Mass-Market Paperback. Out Now!

 The paperback edition of The This is set for release in a few days (10th November in fact) (10th Nov Update: 10th November is today! Now available to buy!). To mark that, here's the review the latest edition of SFX carries about the book: click to embiggen and clarify the image. 5 stars! Pick of the paperbacks! A little frustrating at the start! Will change your entire worldview if you make it to the end!


  1. Speaking for myself, I was not in the least bit frustrated. My worldview remains the same, however.

    Why didn't you tell us about Stealing For The Sky? I had to rely on the Amazon bot to do so, then I had to make sure it was the same Adam Roberts before I bought it. I come here for publication news, and now I'm frustrated!

    1. Is STEALING out now? They don't tell me anything! I'll dig out the details and post about it -- it is by me, though it's a while since I wrote it, and it's been in limbo, rather, since then.

    2. I saved it for Saturday morning, when I could read it in one sitting. It's lots of fun, and I liked the ending. Your bio was funny, too.

      Now I'm trying to decide who should play Starman in the movie.