Analysing The Poem Fancy In Nubibus English Literature Essay

The poem I have chosen to analyse in this essay will be Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Fancy in Nubibus”. The title of the poem immediately evokes a sense of nature which perhaps indicates what the main topic of the poem may be about. “Coleridge believed that unseen forces and powers create everything we hear and see. He thought that a creative spirit is at work in nature and all of life”. [1] The fact that Coleridge felt this way can indicate how ‘the poet in the clouds’ may be a poem which exerts his own feelings towards the universe and how he felt nature was a big part of peoples lives.

The poem begins with a feeling which “is pleasant, with a heart at ease”. Immediately we as the readers get a positive feeling and direction of where the poet may be heading. It is apparent to see how Coleridge felt nature was an important factor in his life and during the period as a whole. In the eighteenth century Nature was significant to romantic ideology; it was a time of discovery a period where if you were closer to nature you were considered to be more pure. Coleridge felt that, “Through our ears and eyes…we enter into a kind of conversation with nature. We see and hear it, and we put down what we’ve seen and heard in our paintings and stories”. [2] This poem is evident how Coleridge felt; he seems to have written this poem to show how nature impacts his life and the life around him. The opening lines bring across a strong emotive feeling that Coleridge may have experienced or felt at one point during his life. The fact that his “heart is at ease” conveys a sense of piece and realism. He plays on his imagination and emphasises his excitement through the exclamation marks he uses in poem, such as when he speak of the ‘gorgeous land!’ The enjambment continues to show this excitement and allows the readers to feel the joy and the effect of nature that Coleridge experienced. The poem is a playful text of imagination, Coleridge shows the speaker musing on the shape of the clouds, the flow of rivers and the effect of nature on his own sentiment as well as the world. It is a good-natured poem of imagination and perspective; it makes a comparison to the poet who creates shapes out of air, recalling Shakespeare’s a Midsummer Night’s Dream and Theseus’ speech on the poetic imagination.

The sonnet form contributes to the poems meaning in a various number of ways, it begins by speaking of the clouds in the first four lines, and then swiftly moving onto his own feelings which show excitement and joy towards nature. Coleridge uses personification of the clouds having “easily persuaded eyes” in order to make the reader feel closer to nature. The ‘persuaded eyes’ give a sense of believing and being convinced that nature is something we need in order to live and be happy, having this connection with nature can convey a sense of realism as nature is a natural experience that all humans face and feel. Coleridge “…wrote sonnets at crucial moments throughout his life” [3] this may in many ways indicate that he wrote sonnets when he felt or experienced important things during his life. The heavy concentration on the, “…deep sounds possessed with inward light” gives the readers a sense of religious imagery being used. The diction ‘possessed’ gives out connotations of taking over and owning an individual. When the word ‘possessed’ is used, most people relate it to demons and supernatural forces taking over, however the fact that Coleridge decides to show this ‘possessed’ feeling with ‘inward light’ may create positive religious imagery. The lexis ‘light’ brings forth constructive, good and pure images to the poem. The sound which is coming from the tide seems to possess the inner light; this inner light may symbolize an individual’s heart, a place where deep emotions are kept away. The righteousness that is present in this depiction creates a sense of realism; it is something the reader can feel relates to them in one way or another.

The sonnet form becomes ironically a tribute to Homer’s epic poems, which “rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea,” making it a sort of antagonistic sonnet through it’s strangeness between its form and that which it admires. Coleridge uses language which seems to be very abstract, it is very descriptive and in detail creating a convincing and positive image of nature. For example when “cheek aslant see rivers flow of gold”, a luxurious and attractive picture is created in the readers mind through the striking diction used, the ‘flow of gold’ allows connotations of happiness to come into perspective. Gold is seen as a rich and satisfying object therefore the rivers flowing of gold would give a conspicuous image to the reader. Some of the main themes in this poem seem to be nature, creativity, joy and God, Coleridge perhaps emphasises on these themes in order to show his own feelings towards what he felt was important. The mood of the poem is presented as a positive concept; a sense of optimism is felt through Coleridge’s depiction of nature and God. The poet feeds into romantic ideology by showing natures elements to be powerful and superior. The last rhyming couplets summarise the poem overall, restating the most significant ideas about Nature that have been raised. It reminds readers of the senses that one can use to experience nature, and of the poem’s certainty about nature being good. The tone of the poem is very mellow and practical allowing the idea of nature to come across the reader as an influential concept.

In conclusion Coleridge’s poem “Fancy in Nubibus” is an interesting poem to look at in terms of the way nature is depicted and shown to be inferior to human kind. He brings across an idea which conveys nature to be distinct from anything else. The poem overall seems to interrelate the ideas of nature and god symbolically. Nature is figured to be something superhuman in this poem, almost like a power that affects everything transcendent and sublime. Coleridge tries to evoke the image of nature by using diction which relates to the natural world. He uses words such as ‘rivers, light, gold, heart and sunlight’; all of which create positive and happy surroundings. It allows the poem to come alive, and is realist in its depiction of the real world. There may be many interpretations to the poem which Coleridge tried to bring across and one of these may be the fact that he tried to portray nature as something important in life. He uses different ways to bring across the idea of nature as an important issue. Coleridge employs natural surroundings to illustrate nature to surround us in everyday life. He presents us with imagery which allows readers to relate and understand his ideas and experiences clearly. The depiction of nature in the poem is an exciting and thrilling sensation which is shown to have the power to have an effect on any individual. A feeling of purity is bought across by the portrayal of nature being morally effective.

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