Who do you like better? I'm in love with Coleridge. Everybody reads The Rime, but much of his other stuff is overlooked. I'd like to see something like Christabel be taught in high school. Sexuality at its most dark and vampiric. Can't get that out of a public school education!
I think Wordsworth was a more popular poet back when Academia shared the same personality as him: sure of themselves with egos large enough to devour the world
Wordsworth is fun and moving, but I don't entirely trust him. He claims to grasp the meaning of nature and existence in his poems, and seems to only be kidding himself.
Coleridge better reflects the attitudes of (much of) modern academia. There's far more doubt in his works, and I personally find that struggle incredibly captivating. His constant attempts to find the meaning Wordsworth claims to know, whether while cradling his infant in Frost at Midnight, attempting to break through relgious conventions in Eolian Harp, or drifting alone on the wide wide sea, searching for explanations and meaning in The Rime. Coleridge is the man for all these reasons and more. PLUS he was an early Shakespearean!
"Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about mine ears; and sometimes voices, that, if I then had wak'd after long sleep, will make me sleep again; and then, in dreaming, the clouds methought would open and show riches ready to drop upon me, that, when I wak'd, I cried to dream again"
I love Coleridge because I tend to identify with tortured souls who admit they are tortured. Wordsworth may have felt deep emotion, but he seemed to be intent on hiding it. Coleridge explored his pain and doubt in more tangible ways. His images resonate for me in that they are so dark and twisted, much like Coleridge's opium-clouded mind. Coleridge invites the reader in in a way that Wordsworth cannot. Instead, Wordsworth creates a gap between himself and the reader. I do not identify with Wordsworth because he sells himself as a prodigy. There's not enough room in his ego for me, and I resent that. I want to be let in.