Samuel Coleridge’s Poems The Eolian Harp And Frost At Midnight

2055 words - 8 pages

In Samuel Coleridge’s conversation poems “The Eolian Harp” and “Frost at Midnight,” he reveals and communicates his situation in terms of religious feelings, where both his poems can speak to the audience in a quiet and personal voice revealing truth in terms of everyday experiences. Both poems use certain devices such as internal conflict, external conflict, symbolism, structure, and the theme of the association between God and nature to communicate the situation of the poet in terms of religious feelings. Both poems emphasize the importance of the natural world by presenting imagery and descriptions of the natural setting, and stating that nature itself is very closely tied with God and religion. Although Samuel Coleridge uses different plots, devices, and methods in both “The Eolian Harp” and “Frost at Midnight,” he manages to represent his religious views, the importance of nature, and the spiritual, religious, and mystical themes in both poems.
In “The Eolian Harp”, Coleridge begins with a vivid description of a quiet scene in nature, and turns inwards into the workings of his own mind. The first stanza in “The Eolian Harp” is filled with natural imagery where both Sara, his wife, and the poet sit affectionately outside their cottage looking up at the evening stars, smelling pleasant scents, and listening to the distant murmur of the sea. The poet then cogitates on a both intellectual and emotional problem that he has been thinking of lately, which is the conflict between his own speculative philosophy that he produces about God and nature, and the opposing institution of the religious dogma; therefore, creating an internal conflict between the poet’s own mystical thoughts, and the rationalist Christian thoughts supported by his wife, Sara. The soft breeze, and the eolian harp causes the poet to undergo an intellectual and emotional daydream and journey making him remember a particular incident where he is climbing a hill watching the sun’s glare dancing on the sea. This tranquil scene stimulates the poets’ mind where streams of thoughts rush through his “indolent and passive brain,” explaining that nature is closely tied to God and that God’s essence is found in nature; however, that “intellectual breeze” collides with his wife’s Orthodox views that disapproves his unconventional ideas, and rather adheres to the rationalist theologian and Christian thought. Moreover, when he states, “O! the one life within us and abroad,” the poet expresses his philosophizing belief that emphasizes the connection and association of all things, both inner and outer. He clearly explains that there is no separation between the subject and the object since the laws governing the operations of the human mind is perceived in the external world as well; therefore, tying nature to religion and God. This philosophizing belief causes Coleridge to undergo internal conflict where he finds himself at war between his own dynamic mystical views and the rationalist...

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