Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge- Dejection: An Ode

          searches own mind and emotions; moves from immediate situation to observing nature around him, prompts him to reflect on what makes poetry, motivating force, importance of love

          originally written as “A Letter to Sarah” an unattainable love, as he was stuck in a loveless marriage; this revised version was published on Wordsworth’s wedding day, and Coleridge anniversary

          dejection: a state of melancholy, depression

o   is the negative emotion that brings grief or misfortune as a result of failure even after performing at our level best in achieving the task by applying honest and persistent efforts

          Coleridge is lamenting a loss of his creativity

          shift between private and public

o   private: obsessed with love

o   public: loss if imagination

          lady is answer to loss and despair

          configuration of moon: marriage and lover

          he wishes for a storm; depressed (already taking drugs)

          he can see all but can’t feel anything

          “genial sprits”: kindly, inborn, native, creative

          needs something inside to connect with goings on outside

o   view of the world from within

          lady is key as another human being; we are the source of meaning in the world

          at end, he finds what he’s looking for→ towards knowledge of what will save him as artist and man

          PARADOX: a creative work lamenting loss of creativity

          what is this joy she has that he doesn’t have; he had it but it was worn down by suffering

o   can’t separate imagination with joy and joy with love;  joy is the power that connects us with the outside world

          the way we view nature is up to us. can’t get from nature with out giving something of ourselves

          shift: listening instead of just dwelling in despair

          images: harp = windchimes→ analogy for inspiration, comes from without; music speaks to him

          thinks about lady he loves; her rising with joy→sensual and proud; he’s too self-involved to feel joy

          in wishing her joy…he’s feeling outside of himself, connecting with outside world

          love is the key; by the end of the poem he feel sit

          joy is unselfish, lady experiences it more readily

          the shift from “Sarah” to “William” to “Sarah” is to universalize it, make it more accessible

          reader is assumed to be a man


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