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Module 1: Coleridge Frost at Midnight

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XSIQ
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English - Nature and God

Nature and God

Click on GO and read the extract as you watch and listen:

Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee,
Whether the summer clothe the general earth
With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing
Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare branch
Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch
Smokes in the sun-thaw; whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles
QUIETLY SHINING TO THE QUIET MOON. (11.65-74)

In this - and again, this is typically Romantic notion - the poet himself
is like a god. This poet in this setting (the cottage) has also '(TAUGHT)
HIMSELF IN ALL, AND ALL THINGS IN HIMSELF'. The poet sees God's works
manifested quite specifically as a 'LANGUAGE' (l.60), just as his own work
of creation - this poem - is manifested as language.

Coleridge wrote in his famous prose work, _Biographia literaria_, that
the chief device by which the poet reveals the quality of 'Imagination' is
through 'the balance or reconciliation of opposite or discordant qualities'
(Ch XIV). This poem shows this quality in the way Coleridge balances and
unifies the past and the present, but it is also revealed strongly in those
lines in which he unifies opposite seasons - lines which show exquisite
detail of observation.

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