An Analysis on the Eolian Harp

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The compelling poem “The Eolian Harp’ written by Samuel Coleridge is a poem of medium length, yet by no means a straight forward poem. Its message and ideals are elevated and hidden through Coleridge’s subtle capitalization of words, the pantheism riddled across the poem, and allusions of mythology and bible verses. However, this poem of wind, nature, music, and God is one of the most beautiful poems of the Romantic era because of its superior poetic usage of terms. The Eolian Harp in a brief overview is a conversational poem as the narrator (Coleridge himself) speaks to his wife Sara about nature and mentions an eolian harp, a harp like musical instrument where the wind is able to play it. Coleridge continues to make connections using the harp as comparison between nature, humans, and God; but later renounces these thoughts for his wife Sara. Upon a first reading of this poem one may notice the capitalization of words in unusual places. I believe these capitalizations are to give these selected words a heightened status of importance and “gives a different meaning to these words, making them nouns and giving them a sense of physical presence” (“The Eolian Harp…”). Such words are Innocence and Love on line 5, Melodies on line 23, Music on line 33, Philosophy on line 57, Incomprehensible on line 59, and finally Faith on line 60. Keeping these important words in mind while giving them thought allows ones second reading of the poem to be clearer. The first time reading through the first stanza, I had an impression that this was a love poem to his wife Sara Fricker; however, one can realize that these milestones of capitalized word choices keeps you on track towards the real meaning of the poem. There are obvious lines in this poem that raise nature above the traditional sense of nature in mainstream Christianity and shine nature and God in a Pantheistic light. Although the power of nature is not an uncommon theme in other Romanic poetry, I believe it is especially...
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