The Eolian Harp

             In Coleridge's piece entitled "The Eolian Harp", the Eolian harp, or music, is seen as an influence on one's interpretation and affection with a situation. Coleridge's affinity with nature and the mystical relations of music and himself develop from his descriptive language of the real and tangible to subjects more imaginative, and his ability to express and relate the beauty of the soul and its expression found in light and music, which are relative to nature.
             The Eolian harp is a simple harp tuned in unison that sits in the window and makes sound when moved by the breeze. Being played by nature's wind, it is easy to see how the Eolian harp could capture a poets' imagination, especially the poets of this romantic age who were often inspired by nature and music. Music and nature, are both naturally occurring and timeless phenomena, but often can't be easily explained in rational ways. Coleridge as we see is captivated with this quality and seeks to pursue exemplifying its beauty in words. Some of which go on to describe make-believe worlds because to him they are the only things relatable to the sophisticated yet uncontrollable environments each creates. We see how nature's random influence can be converted into the unlimited sonic possibilities produced from the simplest of instruments, and with Coleridge's words are tied together with a captivating and impressionistic hint at the mystical and ominous effect they play on each other.
             Starting on the 15th line of Coleridge's piece, where he writes, "Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover,"(Coler 419.15), Coleridge is comparing the harp to a maid who is toying, with her lover. This tease, which I derive from his use of the word "coy", is especially provocative in the sense that the music which is played with the either all-knowing consciousness of nature or the innocence of an unknowing bree...

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The Eolian Harp . (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:16, March 25, 2019, from