Comparison Of Colerdige Poems Essay, Research Paper
The poems mentioned in what follows are “Kubla Khan”, “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner”, “Christabel”, “Frost at Midnight”, “Dejection: An Ode” and “This
Lime-Tree Bower My Prison.”
Although we often treat movement and stillness as polar opposites, we are always at least dimly aware that the relationship between these two qualities is not quite
so simplistic. For example, when forces that could cause the movement of a distinct thing – perhaps a leaf, perhaps an idea – act in opposing directions, the effect of
the energy of movement can be a kind of paralysis. Likewise, a process of movement can be divided up into a seemingly infinite sequence of static moments. We can
question whether or not we ever truly observe movement, whether movement is always inferred, a quality hidden among an experience of static moments.
Issues of movement and stillness are so fundamental to the way in which we look to the world that it would be near impossible for a poet to describe human
experience without evoking them to some extent. In fact, it would not be difficult to write a line-by-line interpretation of all six poems solely on the basis of movement
and stillness. Selection is therefore all-important, but to understand the significance of these issues in Coleridge’s work, we need more than to look at particularly
well-sketched images of motion or suspension – we need to look at those perceptions that actually draw their power from Coleridge’s representation of these
qualities in them.
Although these kinds of manipulation are as varied as they are commonplace, in focusing on a few broad categories it is possible to offer insight into many if not most
instances in the six poems. These categories becomes tools with which we inspect any particularly intriguing representation of movement or stillness; certain
representations (for example, the sequence in “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” in which the Mariner’s ship is becalmed on the equator) will yield interesting results
to each of them.