Year after year of lessons on the Romantics, in particular those of the first generation, a question has recently taken shape in my mind : “but were these Coleridge and Wordworth a kind of Buddhists?” I knooooooow it’s hazarduous and I have to confess that my knowledge of Buddism is actually basic: I’ve read Thomas Mann’s Siddharta and the Autobiography of a Yogi (it’s not the bear) about the Yogi Paramahansa Yogananda, that is all. But I want to try to outline an analysis anyhow. Well, Buddhism is a religion /philosophy based on the teachings attributed to Siddharta Gauthama, who is commonly known as the Buddha (the awakened). For the Buddhists he is the enlightened teacher who shared his insights to help men end sufferings through the elimination of ignorance by way of understanding and the elimination of craving, thus attaining the highest happiness: Nirvana. Wow, but this the Indian version of the Preface to the Lyrical Ballads!!! Rewind:the poet/Buddha is the enlightened man with that superior sensibility/imagination that he uses to teach men how to feel emotions so as to better bear the inevitable sufferings of life, thus reaching happiness. He is a poet and poetry is his weapon. Coleridge in particular, had understood that the burden of our ” Wants” – see the post on the “Wedding Guest” – can’t help us understand the true nature of happiness and confounds us. Siddharta seemed to have whatever life had to offer: he was young, handsome, rich and, naturally, admired and envied at the same time. That wasn’t enough for him. He wanted more. So he got rid of that burden of things to be free to choose his way. This is exactly the same choice of St Francis of Assisi and in more modern times that of Alexander Supertramp, the protagonist of the movie Into the Wild. Have you ever felt the craving for “things” as a burden?