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Module 1: Coleridge The Eolian Harp

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The appeal to the senses

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XSIQ
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English - The appeal to the senses

The appeal to the senses

Consider how Coleridge appeals to our senses in the opening of The Eolian
Harp

The poem begins with a kind of hymn of praise to his new wife Sara and to
their domestic situation as symbolised in their cottage. The cottage itself
is overgrown with jasmine and myrtle and Coleridge imposes on this simple
fact a spiritual significance, because these plants are 'MEET EMBLEMS...OF
INNOCENCE AND LOVE'. Everything about the scene around their cottage
provides a reminder of the beauties of the natural world, and Coleridge has
it appeal to all of our senses:

'And watch the clouds, that late ere rich with light....
....... How exquisite the scents
Snatch'd from yon bean-field! and the world so hush'd
THE STILLY MURMUR OF THE DISTANT SEA
TELLS US OF SILENCE.' (ll.6-12)

The paradox of sound that tells of silence will be reversed in a later
Conversation poem, _'Frost at Midnight'. _

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