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Analyse The Poem 'the Eolian Harp' By Samuel Taylor Coleridge And Comment On The Poetic Form And Language Used And The Way They Contribute To The Meaning And Effects Of The Poem.

1647 words - 7 pages

‘The Eolian Harp’ by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, can be described as the musings of a man thinking about his love for his wife Sara, the beauty of nature and about the wonder of God in providing him with both nature and Sara. The voice of the poem is Coleridge himself as it refers to Sara, his wife at the time of writing. It is a Romantic poem as it deals with a mixture of traditional Romantic themes: those of strong feelings, the importance of the imagination and the idea of the sublime, and the natural world.‘The Eolian Harp’ is written in blank verse and has an irregular split into two verse paragraphs, one long, one short. The form is lyrical as it deals with a man’s thoughts and emotions but it is often written in a conversational style, particularly in the first verse paragraph giving it an informal, simple feel:‘to sit beside our cot, our cot overgrown’ (l.3)and‘…I stretch my limbs at noon,Whilst thro’ my half-clos’d eyelids I beholdThe sunbeams dance…’. (l.35-37)The choice to write in a conversational tone while using blank verse is an important one. As Sue Asbee states ‘choosing to write in blank verse…will elevate the subject’ (Approaching Poetry, p14). Blank verse is traditionally reserved for ‘kings, nobles, heroes, and heroines’, but by mixing blank verse with a conversational tone, Coleridge appeals to all and in doing so elevates the subject matter.However, there is one point that a singular rhyme does appear:On vain Philosophy’s aye-babbling spring.For never guiltless may I speak of Him,Th’ INCOMPREHENSIBLE! (l.57-59)It could be argued that this rhyme happened naturally without any significant meaning, but that is unlikely. Poets are very particular about their words and it is more than coincidence that, at the moment Coleridge praises his god, he introduces a rhyme on the word ‘Him’. That this is followed by a capitalised ‘INCOMPRENSIBLE’ adds to the argument that he is important and the effect is that it does stand out from all that comes before it as, although considered in isolation it sounds pleasant and flowing, compared to the blank verse of the rest of the poem it sounds out of place.This use of capitalisation and exclamation marks is a technique that Coleridge uses throughout the poem to give some words an emphasis:‘My pensive SARA!’; (l.1)and‘PEACE, and this COT, and THEE, heart-honour’d Maid! (l.64)Considering the subject matter of the poem, it is clear that the capitalisation of certain words is used to express the things that he finds most important. Capitals are often used to imply shouting in text and this is indeed what Coleridge is doing here; shouting out loud about the things he treasures most: Sara, God, Peace, and his Home (Cot) with Sara his ‘heart-honour’d Maid’. Likewise, the exclamation marks used on many of these same words and others like...

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