A thought on Shelley’s birds

Among the striking sentences in Shelley’s A Defence of Poetry is the following:” A Poet is a nightingale, who sits in darkness and sings to cheer its own solitude with sweet sounds: his auditors are as men entranced by the melody of an unseen musician, who feel that they are moved and softened, yet know not whence or why”(861).   Several things are working in this sentence that also function in To a Sky-Lark.  Continue reading

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Some of my analysis of Coleridge’s Kubla Khan:

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s opening explanatory paragraphs to Kubla Khan inform the poem in several different ways.  The most obvious way is explaining the circumstances under which the poem was written.  The further function arises in Coleridge’s explanation that the “lines that are here preserved”(460) are just a 54-line fragment of the dream that could have been up to 300 lines.  As a reader, this gives me a sense of Coleridge teasing me, saying ‘here’s just a taste, and you will never have the rest.’  The poem as a whole leaves one with a sense of awe and a myriad of unanswered questions, Continue reading