Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Nightingale

The significance of communicating and being in harmony with nature is what Coleridge is trying to express in The Nightingale.  Starting with the significance behind the Aeolian harp. A human cannot play an Aeolian harp with out natures assistance. It is as if the harp is a mediator between a human and the natural world. The fifteenth line of the poem shares " In nature there is nothing melancholy". Coleridge is trying to convey that discovering how to be in harmony with nature brings forth untainted joy. Humans and the natural world are not always in tune with each other. He illustrates nature’s aptitude for brining peace and joy to humans. The agitated infant being put to rest by nature demonstrates this. This is why he feels there is significance behind creating familiarity with nature at a young age. I connected these ideas to a poem by Mary Oliver entitled "The Gift".  She not only appreciates the joy of nature, but also tries to communicate with it. She plays Mahler songs to the mockingbird on what she refers to as a machine. When she returns to the field she hears the mockingbird singing Mahler and feels linked with the natural world.

The Gift is found on page 36 of Mary Oliver’s book of poems entitled House of Light.

The Gift by Mary Oliver

I wanted to thank the mockingbird for the vigor of his song.
Every day he sang from the rim of the field, while I picked
blueberries or just idled in the sun.
Every day he came fluttering by to show me, and why not,
the white blossoms in his wings.
So one day I went there with a machine, and played some songs of
The mockingbird stopped singing, he came close and seemed
to listen.
Now when I go down to the field, a little Mahler spills
through the sputters of his song.
How happy I am, lounging in the light, listening as the music
floats by!
And I give thanks also for my mind, that thought of giving
a gift.
And mostly I’m grateful that I take this world so seriously.


JasonKolkey said...

Hey, comments finally work on here. Cool. Well, first off, I dig the Warhol theme (particularly the front and center Velvet Underground and Nico cover), but I kinda liked the original design with the prominently displayed Swordfishtrombones cover better. Aesthetics aside, you offer some good ideas on how the poem operates as a "conversation" and draw an interesting connection with, remarkably, a poet who is currently alive. I would have actually liked to see you place the main focus of the entry on this connection, developing an idea of how the Oliver piece responds to the Coleridgeian idea of discourse with nature.