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Author: Subject: Coleridge's "The Eolian Harp"

Peach Master





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  posted on 10/30/2002 at 01:03 PM
Butch,
I know that you are into literature and the Allman Brothers as a spiritual experience, so I thought I'd see if you have any thoughts on this topic: I've always been fascinated with the Romantic poet's emphasis on Nature as a religious experience, and their opinion that aesthetic bliss can hold spiritual significance. I think this theme relates strongly to the theme of the Allman Brothers as a religion, a topic often discussed in this Forum. My friend Ryan Belair often comments that he gets all of the church he needs inside of an Allman Brothers concert. I often feel the same way. There is a certain feeling that one gets, not at every concert, but sometimes, when everything is just right. I've often heard that feeling referred to as "jubilation," which I think is an excellent word for it, but after rereading this poem last night, I think that Coleridge rather aptly hits upon just this feeling in his discussion of the One Life:
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 fill'd;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is music slumbering on her instrument.


Note the synesthesia of "light in sound, a sound like power in light"--combing of the aural and visual. I've heard many fans comment that they can almost see the music in the air, that it creates patterns in their brains. Similarly, a rhythm in thought combines the visceral with the imaginative. "Joyance everywhere" sounds suspisciously like "Joy is everywhere" sort of echoing the refrain from Revival does it not? Some of you may not agree, but I think that there are definite parallels between the feeling that Coleridge is writing about and the feeling that I get from this music!
Michael Williams

 
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Peach Head



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  posted on 11/10/2002 at 12:41 PM
It's ironic but I've been reading Coleridge a lot lately. Bith his poems and about him. His best poetry was written while he was totally out of it on laudinum (opium). He would go into trances and be completely transported and his writings were the result. He was betrayed (we almost lost "The Pleasure Domes of Kubla Khan") by his "good friend" Wordsworth. Wordsworth was jealous of the attention that "the Mariner" recieved and did all he could to have all of Coleridge's subsequent writings treated as trash written by an addict. If it weren't for Wordsworth's own sister "Kubla Khan" would have been lost. To your point: I agree there are many ways to "god" and Coleridge damn sure found his. [Edited on 11/10/2002 by Butch Trucks]
 

Peach Master



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  posted on 11/11/2002 at 09:58 AM
I agree totally. As good a poet as Wordsworth was, he was a complete egotistical **** . Not only did he edit most of Coleridge's poetry out of Lyrical Ballads, but he copped most of his own poems from his siter Dororthy's journal entries. "I wandered lonely as a cloud" comes directly from Dorothy's Grasmere Journal in which she describes a walk with William through a gorgeous mass of daffodils by a lake. Her entry is in many ways superior to his poem, yet she recieves no credit in the poem.
 
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