Online Exercise 3
1 The following passage comes from an early poem by Coleridge:
“O the one life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where—
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 her instrument.
The last line suggests that the title of the poem is The Eolian Harp
Highlight the two lines above that suggest the theme of another poem by the same poet. What poem? Frost at Midnight
2 “But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O beloved woman! Nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallowed dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Well hast thou said and holily dispraised
These shapings of the unregenerate mind;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy’s aye-babbling spring.”
Who is the woman whom Coleridge addresses here, who seems to have “dispraised” (not praised) his imagination? His Fiancee at the time Sara. “Meek Daughter in the family of Christ.”
Look up in the Oxford English Dictionary online, through the Library’s website (click on Databases and E-Resources), the word “regenerate” and explain what the poet means when he calls his lines “shapings of the unregenerate mind.”
What the poet means is that spiritually won’t be re-born again.
3 Coleridge struggled throughout his life with addiction to opium but learned to manage it; what physical malady did Keats contend with, which could not be managed? Who else in his family struggled with the same disease?
Tuberculosis. His mother who also died from tuberculosis.
4 In “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” when the mariners first saw the Albatross, what was their response to it?
When they were going through the mist, snow and snowy cliffs. Through the ice the Albatross appeared. The Mariner shot the Albatross with a crossbow.
5 When and why does the Albatross fall off the neck of the Mariner?
By unconsciously blessing the hideous snakes and the albatross drops off his neck into the ocean.
6 a) In “The Rime,” who wins the roll of dice for the fate of the Mariner, as opposed to the fate of his crew? The Mariner wins because he lives on the rest of his life sharing his story and wisdom to others like the wedding guest. His crew died because of his actions and he has to live with that.
b) What is the Polar Spirit that accompanies the ship after the albatross is killed? What is his relationship to the Mariner’s “penance,” and when does he leave the ship? See the marginal notes in Part 5.
Angels that took over the bodies of the ship sailors and helped get the ship to shore and help from the hermit.
7 The wedding guest in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” is said to have arisen “A sadder and a wiser man” (line 624) the day after he was forced to listen to the mariner’s tale. What is he “sadder and wiser” about? What has he learned about human nature?
He lears to respect nature as it is. He may know of a sad story that happened but in the end he is a wiser man and knows the outcome from disrespecting nature.
8 “I would build that dome in air, That sunny dome! those caves of ice! And all who heard should see them there, And all should cry, Beware! Beware! His flashing eyes, his floating hair! Weave a circle round him thrice, And close your eyes with holy dread, For he on honey-dew hath fed, And drunk the milk of Paradise.”
This poem ends with an ecstatic vision of a poet who with pure “music loud and long” would build “that dome in air,” build “those caves of ice.” 1) With whom is the speaker setting himself in rivalry as a builder—i.e., who else in the poem has built something? 2) Therefore, What kinds of building are contrasted?