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On First Looking Into…Coleridge’s Conversation Poems

Coleridge and the Sound of Music in the Conversation Poems

By Zoe Baker-Peng

Methinks it should have been impossible

Not to love all things in a world so filled,

Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air

Is Music slumbering on its instrument.

(‘The Eolian Harp,’ 30-33)

As I read Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s conversation poems for the first time, in particular ‘The Eolian Harp,’ ‘The Nightingale,’ and ‘Frost at Midnight,’ the frequent pairing of nature and music struck me as intriguing. Throughout these poems, Coleridge examines the relationship between the organic world and musical sounds, and uses music to further illustrate and explain the composition of natural scenes. Continue reading On First Looking Into…Coleridge’s Conversation Poems