The Relationship Between Nature and Love in The Aeolian Harp by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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The Relationship Between Nature and Love in The Aeolian Harp by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"The Aeolian Harp," by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, has puzzled modern

critics. The poem has many different readings, all of which are

justifiable. "The Aeolian Harp" was composed on August 20, 1795. "This

was a short period when Coleridge was happy in his approaching

marriage (Harper)." "SARA" is the young lady he is supposed to soon

marry. Throughout this poem Coleridge "speaks to his wife" (Wayne 73)

showing his undying love for Sara in relation with nature. "The

Aeolian Harp" is definitely a honeymoon poem in that it celebrates

Coleridge's love for Sara (Scheuerle)." Sara is not only seen in his

eyes as beautiful and the love of his life, but as a mystery as well.

Through relationships with nature Coleridge explains the story of his

love for Sara to his readers. He also "celebrates the mysterious,

magical life force in 'animated nature' (Holmes 103)."

The very first line of the poem already creates a sense of mystery

about Sara in Coleridge's mind. "My pensive SARA!" shows that

Coleridge knows that many things run through this woman's head but

they are overall a mystery to him. This can be justified by looking at

the fact that Sara's name is in all capitals. He is stressing and

exaggerating that Sara is the one that is pensive. The punctuation

(exclamation point) used after this line also creates a sense of

excitement and stress. It is clear that Coleridge wants so badly to

understand what his Sara is thinking.

Coleridge was a poet who concentrated on nature intensely. Coleridge's

"Sense-experience" is significant and structural in this poem. T...

... middle of paper ...

... Overall, "The Aeolian Harp" can be called a love

poem to Sara in relationship to the mystery of nature.

Works Cited

Ashton, Rosemary. The Life of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Blackwell

Publishers. Oxford: 1988.

Harper, George McLean. "Coleridge's Conversation Poems." English

Romantic Poets-Modern Essays in Criticism. 1960. Electronic Text

Center. Seton Hall University Library, media, NJ. 23 April. 2003


Holmes, Richard. Coleridge Early Visions. Viking Penguin. New York:


Radley, Virginia L. Samuel Taylor Coleridge. Twayne Publishers.

Boston: 1966.

Shulz, Max F. The Poetic Voices of Coleridge. Wayne State University

Press. Detroit: 1963.

Walsh, William. Coleridge The Work and the Relevance. Chatto & Windus.

London: 1967.
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