Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dejection: an Ode : S.T. Coleridge

Dejection: an Ode by S.T. Coleridge has been written to a ‘Lady’. Who was the ‘lady’? Sara Hutchinson? In a letter Coleridge said to his friend Poole that the poem was addressed to him. Later Coleridge told that it was addressed to Wordsworth. However, according to Coleridge it could be addressed to anybody with joyous mind. The poem is about the poem himself. Here the poet confessed to one who is just the opposite to him. The poet considered himself as sad man and the lady is full of joy. Originally the poem Dejection: an ode had 340 lines. Later Coleridge cut it short to 139 lines.


There is the foreboding of a deadly storm in the four-line quoted from the Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence’. The deadly storms, though destructive, will certainly change by a stir in the soil and make the plants sprout out of seeds. Now the poet is spiritually slumber and needed an inspiration that arouse him to new poetic life. He has a desire to shake off his dullness and bring back his imaginative power.

The poet has melancholy. It does not burst into any strong emotion. It is corroding his mind. He looks around and sees that everything in nature is excellently fair but he is not deeply touched by anything. He sees, but does not feel.

His spiritual spirit has gone. The beauty of natural objects can no more touch him. He dreams to gaze at the green light on the western horizon. But his effort to recover his poetic talent ended in fiasco. The happiness and passion comes from the heart. If the heart is dried up then external beauty can not revive him. What man gives to nature will receive the same. Nature is the part of our life. Our mental state is dependable on nature. Natural objects are lifeless. For lively nature, we must send forth glory and radiance . Only powerful human feelings enchanted nature with sweet chasm.

The lady possesses pure heart and her heart is full of joy. Consequently to her, nature is always joyful. The poet expresses his feelings how the mood of the lady contrasted with his mood.

The poet could recollect his joyful past life even in the misfortune. The hope grew around him like a creeper growing around a tree. He was enchanted by the natural objects. But he now feels no joy. It is something loss that he has no joy, but it is the great loss as he has lost his poetic talent. He has the superb power of imagination when he born but now he has lost the power. He wants to wait and keep patient forgetting the loss of poetic talent. For that he starts study of metaphysics so that he becomes a ‘natural man’ having no pain for the loss. But his study of metaphysics could not help him. Still he is unable to recover his poetic talent and creativity.

The poet is very sad. He wants to find the means how to get rid of the present situation. In the wind he hears the scream of agony like the scream of a mad. He thinks that the wind should go to places where its howling will not sound so discordant as it does here- to bare crag, mountain , to some blasted tree, some pine grove far away from any woodman’s reach, or some witch-haunted lonely house. It is now causing havoc in this rainy month of April, creating the atmosphere, of ‘Devil’s Christmas’. The tragic atmosphere is full of the painful sound of the wind. So the wind is like an actor, or even a poet. The sound made by the wind at the moment seems to be similar to the one made by a retreating army, its members groaning in pain and quivering in cold. The sound is silent and there is a gap. After that another sound is heard, which is less fearful, a bit pleasant even. He thinks his mother would reach hearing the sound of wind to rescue him.

The poet can not sleep at night but he desires that his friend will not pass sleepless nights because sleep is a good anodyne which helps to recover from ailment. Storm may be destructive or stars may be twinkling but these will not touch his friend as she is in profound sleep. When she rise up in the morning she starts her life with joy. Her freshness will spread though the nature. The poet wishes her there will be no dejection in her life.

No comments: