Nature does in fact provide access to truth and vision even when this occurs coincidentally. However, sometimes this can be interpreted as haphazardness when the concerned author fails to bring together all his complex ideas.
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How nature is truthful in three of his works
In one of his well known pieces- “Kubla Khan” the author asserts that creativity in art or poetry is quite similar to the activities that go on in nature.
“ singing of mount Abora, could I revive within me her symphony and song, to such a deep delight twould win me. (Caleridge, 43).”
In this expert, the author is saying that the poetic imagination is quite powerful. It is the means with which one can share any kind of vision and just like nature; it allows him to gain mythical status through such a perspective.
Only those individuals who have managed to master creative powers will be in a situation to experience the mystic much like it is in nature. In this regard, Coleridge has managed to explain to the non artistic the mystic and the complexity of truth as defined by the creative genius so to this extent, nature is very useful in understanding the power of vision.
The poem “Work without hope” echoes similar sentiments. In other words, it causes one to understand why man never really perceives truth because of his attitude.
He asserts that “And I the sole, the unbudy thing, nor honey make..nor sing” (Coleridge, 12). Here, man thinks of himself as peculiar to nature because the slugs are busy and so are the bees but he is unique from them. This is a concept that occurs during the winter and can possess certain beautiful elements but just like nature, man’s truth is defined by the things he chooses to prioritize on.
Winter can be ‘ugly’ if one chooses to see that ugliness or it can also be beautiful if one chooses to see that beauty. Man was able to miss out on the beauty of that season by focusing on the negative aspects. In other words, this is something that leads man to be hindered from real truth and knowledge.
Since he has blocked his mind from truly looking at what is going on then he has placed himself at a disadvantage because now it is extremely difficult for him to place these matters in context. He has become hopeless just like drawing nectar through a sieve. This would be a fruitless effort because all the nectar would slip through the sieve and thus make it impossible for one to capture anything.
This description if nature is very useful in making the audience understand the truth behind man’s thinking because to live life without hope is simply a way of defying nature by drawing nectar through a sieve. In much the same way that winter is cold and lonely, man will never really know the truth unless he makes the conscious choice to see it.
Nature has been insightful in this poem because it provides a lens against which to analyze man’s limitations and also shows that there are certain challenges that will cause a thorough increase in the manner in which these options are being exhausted. Nature therefore allows the audience to fully understand the emotions that actually drive the man in life and it is therefore a gateway into truth.
Sometimes nature also leads to confusion and conflict over what really matters or what does not. In this regard, it is always imperative for those concerned to interpret their won reality through nature and thus create their own truth. The poem ‘Christabel’ provides a good example of how this can come to be.
Here, the author explains that Christabel became powerless because Brad Bracy had a dream but because it could not be correlated to the relationship between Geraldine and Christabel, then it becomes highly difficult to understand the spell that she has and this implies that it is also difficult to make amends. On the other hand, this poem also assists in fully understanding human issues because through nature, it is possible to see how sometimes what is being understood may change from person to person.
In the poem, the author says that that “the damsel….dressed in a silken robe of white” (Trilling & Bloom, 58). Here, he is simply showing how contradictory people can be. Sometimes they may appear as innocent and pure in much the same way that this individual did but in white.
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However, the poem cautions that nothing is what it seems because Geraldine was nothing like her appearance. Therefore nature in this case shows how nothing is really what it seems. What may appear at face value as harmless may actually be quite dangerous and should be treated cautiously.
This poem also allows one to know the truth about human evil and how it permeates the human mind. One will become evil often through the use of innocence as a trait. When Geraldine is first introduced into the poem, she appears to be this innocent soul and even a victim. She has been involved in a kidnapping and one is tempted to think that she is the perfect description of innocence.
She looks like this damsel but she really is not. As one reads on, one finds out how manipulative Geraldine is. She only selects certain convenient times to be tired and claims that she will not be assisted by Christabel only at such times. Christabel goes out of her way to pass her through the gate and this requires a lot of sacrifice on her part (Trilling and Bloom, 119).
Limitations of using nature as the method of connecting with certain kinds of
Because of the continuous opium use, it was clear that sometime perceptions of reality for this author were sometimes questionable. In fact, this explains why his work initially drew a lot of criticism. Therefore, since his perceptions were distorted through his continued intoxication, such description of vision and truth can definitely be put into question.
This is an aspect that he touches on a lot in the poem Kubla Khan. He explains that the poet always has a capacity to draw inspiration from nature but often falls short when trying to inform the public about these truths.
In fact, it is always a huge challenge to understand this writer’s poems because he can seem to be caught up in detail. For instance Kubla Khan, he seemed to have so much to say but there was never a conclusion made to the poem. In the end, the literary piece appeared disjointed to a series of critics.
However, this fact still does not override the beauty and the initiative made by such an individual when dealing with it. Furthermore, it leads to a scenario where the circumstances for writing the poem were heavily criticized as these may sometimes be viewed as a dream like scenario.
There are plenty of supernatural elements in “Christabel”. This is largely because one must possess a full understanding of what evil is and that can never really be ascertained.
In this poem, Geraldine has been described as a witch or even a vampire but as one looks at these assertion critically, one realizes that it may not be accurate, witches are known for making evil spells while vampires require invitation before entry. To this regard, it is difficult to ascertain whether Geraldine falls in this category or not because she has some of these traits but lacks others. To some extent, nature has its limitations because it does not facilitate the understanding of gothic elements.
Also, this regard, it may be necessary to note that the latter poem was never completed, so it is quite difficult to ascertain whether the author was implying that Geraldine was overtaken by evil elements but was not really evil or whether the author was saying that she was inherently evil. The poet did not offer an explanation for the goings on in the poem. In this regard, the poem was incomplete so one can never really ascertain the greatness of the supernatural powers.
However, one must also realize that there are certain circumstances that cause individuals to be as they are. Since these are not specified in the poem, readers are left to guess at them. it can therefore be said that supernatural or gothic elements are difficult to comprehend because this author has a tendency of leaving his poem unfinished thus making it difficult to make through conclusions on the work.
Whether the opium addiction blended the boundaries of nature and truthfulness or whether it made them clearer.
When writing the poem ‘Kubla Khan’ it is reported that the poet may have been under the influence of opium and a dream. This poem is characterized by highly haphazard actions which are often similar to the opium user’s mind set. It is therefore feasible to say that the opium made the boundaries between truth and nature blurred.
Even the fact that the poem was written as a result of a dream is testimony to this fact. The dream altered his mood and caused him to become extremely disoriented or depressed. It may be possible that he attempted to minimize the depression with opium but its overall effect was that it contributed towards the ideas in Kubla Khan which were characterized by a merger of nature and vision rather than their clear distinction.
Indeed it is true as one reads through the biography of Samuel Taylor Coleridge that this author had a stroke of genius in him but he always had a tendency of starting things and then leaving them half way.
Even in his university days, Coleridge would start a number of projects and abandon them. He started a number of publications including his first called “The Watchman”. However, he was only able to run this paper for a period of three months. Many of his other indulges were also erratic like that. It is not clear whether this was directly related to his opium use and his highly depressive state although it is very clear that this it is highly possible.
Kubla Khan was written at a time when he had an opium induced dream and this was some sort of reverie. It is therefore possible to understand why the poem was never completed. Therefore such beautiful works of literature fell short because the poet was not in a position to follow through on what he had started.
This gave his critics some to talk about and also messed up his chances of really growing and developing the issues that were reflected well by other types of challenges. It has also been noted that this poet was not confident about his poetic abilities especially since he knew that other people knew about his addiction to the addictive drug (Bate, 56).
On a personal level, it is clear that Coleridge was well aware of his insights and the understandings of others. He was in fact very critical about the tastes within his societies. According to him, literate people had questionable tastes and this was going to compromise the uniqueness and ability of literature to reach its potential. In other words, he knew that he was engaging in an uphill task by trying to interpret truth through his understands.
Coleridge did extra ordinary work and is no doubt one of the poetic geniuses of his time. His ability to convey seemingly complex matters have been made easier through the use and application of nature. However, this approach has its limitations because it is one sided. Furthermore, the poet’s opium addiction often blurred truth or reality and his understandings of nature.
Coleridge, Samuel. Kubla Khan. Church quarterly review, 37
Bate, Jackson. Coleridge. London: Mcmillan, 1968
Trilling, Lionel & Bloom, Harold. Oxford anthology of English literature. NY: OUP, 1973