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Frost at Midnight

The poem "Fros at Midnight" was written by the man Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798, as a part of Coleridge's "Conversation poems" (1795-1807)
These poems were works of reflection on different themes of life in a conversational tone. popular of such themes were for instance morality, nature and life itself - all very fundamental topics of the romanticism in general.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772 - 1834) ws an English poet, critic and philosopher - who with the partnership of William Wordsworth contributed to the foundation of the romantic movement in England, and is probably most known for his poem "The Rime of the Ancient mariner"

Coleridge grew up in big city London, a background that had a big impact on his writing, especially the poem "Frost at midnight".

The speaker of the poem is believed to be Coleridge himself, where he contemplates the abiding themes of early romanticism; the effect of nature on the imagination, the relationhip between children and the natural world, the contrast between the "liberating" country setting and the city life - and the connection between adulthood and childhood through the adult memory. Frost at midnight also contains what is referred to as "blank verse" - typical for its period, and is a term used to decribe unhrymed lines metered in iambic pentameter.

At the same time, while the poem corresponds to the ruling principles of the romanticism, it also emphazises the difference between Coleridge and his fellow authors of said period. If we go back to William Wordsworth as an example; raised on the rustty countryside, saw his own childhood as a time where is connection to the natural world was at its greatest, and could therefore revisit his childhood memories to provoke his imagination. Coleridge on the other hand, seeing as he grew up in London confines in his poem that he "saw naught lovely but the stars and the sky" this alienation to the natural world shines through the poem in a slightly envious tone, because Coleridge can never feel the same automatic happines when reminiscing his own childhood.

Further on in the poem we see how this lingering alienation only increases his wish of his own child enjoying an "idyllic Wordsworthian upbringing" instead of being deprived of such a marvellous connection as he himself was.

(And is says here in the third stanza)

For I was reared
In the great city, pent'mid ckoisters dim,
And saw nought lovely but the sky and the start.
But thou my babe! shalt wander like a breeze
By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags
Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds.


when expressing the central themes of the poem, "Frost at midnight" relies on a very personal idiom, where the reader follows the natural progression of the speakers contemplations. In that was the reader gets an impression of the mood and surroundings, which in this poem is late on a winter night, frost hanging from the trees - all of nature's voices encircling he speaker. Here Coleridge uses a type of language to immidiately draw readers intoo the scene. Upon hearing an owl, the speaker screams "hark!" as though he was surprised to hear it. The object surrounding the spekaker therefor become methaphors for the work of the mind, and of the imagination.


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