Literary analysis for "Dejection: An Ode”

The work of Samuel Taylor demonstrates the author's virtuosity and aptitude in portraying the idea of romance to the audience through writing the poem. The master piece was written in 1802 for the author's good friend's wedding who was also his fellow poet (Gantman 24). While most writers concentrate on the issue of love, Taylor manages to present the work as a masterpiece worth rereading because of the rich components of poetic tools employed to enhance the theme of love. The poem is divided into eight sections that highlight the author's feelings for the target individual. The poem starts on a note of fear and dejection mode fearing for the deadly storm despite also having a sign of hope shown in the signs of the new moon in her arms. The 8-stanza poem presents irony in the seven-year old marriage between the couple (author-Taylor) and the friend who is about to marry who warns him on the difficulty to escape the marital bindings. Despite the work showing self-pitying state and evoking of loneliness, the author tries to shed some aspects of romance that this write-up intends to bring out clear. The work shows, through many literary tools, that romance is imagined in his world of loveless marriage.

The poem quotes from the “Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence” where it borrows the imagery use of new moon as a bad omen of weather where the author also wishes for the same form of storm. The linking of the new moon to bad things to come later on, while comparing it to the same new moon effects on Sir Patrick, makes the setting of the romantic engagement of the friend look doom. The addressing of the “lady” is a sign of love and rising hope in the midst of depression and numbness characterized by the melancholic state of his marriage (Thomson 237). The poem was initially written as a letter to Sara Hutchinson showing his futile love. Like the expected storm in the new moon, Taylor shows the imagination of the romance ideologies presented to the bride. The situation of love as explained by Taylor is marked by bindings, the way love is shown in marriage by the binding of the ring. The author addresses the friend indicating that sometimes the flavor of love may not last and “the state of love with a woman is not bound to one via ring and vows.” The bounding of love in a ring signifies the show of commitment to loving one another.

Taylor acts in need for activation where he wishes for the storm to occur and change “startle his dull pain (Stanza I 20).” The referring to “gusts swelling” is an indication of expectations of hope, of rains and the changes of mood to reflect love. Similes are quoted across the work to further enrich the content of imagination of love. For instant, the use of weather-wise to describe Bard further points to the needs of observing the times and growing the needed practices of love (Gantman 33). The comparison of the tranquil night that does not go without arousing by the winds (stanza 1 line 4) shows the expectations that the author has on the faring of the love affairs at the couple. The use of “grief without pang, void, dark, and drear…” in first line of stanza II shows the comparison of the feelings the author has on his marriage life. The description of the depressing mood in stanza II depicts optimism that the “lady” waiting in the long eve would experience fortune and bring in forth good fruits of love-full marriage (Hunter 233). The use of similes and comparisons like the yellow-green of the western sky (Stanza II 9) symbolizes the likelihood of a bright future in the marriage. Another imagery used in the poem in stanza II is the sparkling stars that glide behind or between others and “now bedimmed but always seen” (line 14). The bedimmed indicates the sign of love (romance) is slowed but never died showing its strength despite the prevailing moody conditions.

Irony is also used to show the form of relationship engaged by the two parties in the wedding eve. For instance, “blank eye” (stanza line 10) shows the withering expectations and the probable troubles in the wedding couple ahead. In stanza III, the poet talks of “lifting the smothering weight from off my breast” addressing a sign of relief and possibly lifting the state of depression that the author expressed earlier. The use of the phrase, “gazing forever” should inform the selection of irony tool in depicting the state of the couple in “love.” The gazing forever to the green light in the west is also a sign of expectations that the author wishes the love would blossom in some day (). In stanza IV, the first line indicating “we receive but what we give” is an irony that shows that the feeling or aspects of romance is two-way. The embracing of the natures’ live also points to the acceptance of the romantic situation and its sides that the interested parties need to embrace (Thomson 240). The use of inanimate cold world points to the depressingly state of mind where the author feel depressed and dejected.

The continued use of imagery in stanza IV further indicates the feeling of romance as expressed by Taylor. For instance, to signify love, the author states that, “the soul itself must there be send a sweet and potent voice, of its birth, and of all sweet sounds the life and element!” (11-12) indicating the sweetness the couple expressed. The happiness of the soul also signifies the bright future of romance in the marriage. In lines 7-8, the author expresses romance through quoting, “from the soul itself forth a light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud enveloping the earth” to show how the once depressing mood changes to a happy one having glory and light (Hunter 236). The embracing of strong music in the soul and the use of the “beautiful and beauty-making power” phrase gives praises on the expectations of the beautiful existence and relationship between the couple. Romance is also described in the way the author paints the lady, for instance, “Joy, virtuous lady!” (Stanza V 6) showing the feeling of the lady.

Literary tools like exclamation marks have been widely used to show the feeling of the author. Romance is indicated in the words that describe the bride, Joy, like virtuous lady, sweet melodies and the luminous cloud to describe the lady (Hunter 231). Symbolism is also embraced across the work where it paints the lovers as rejuvenated. The use of imagery across the poem like cloud, new earth and new heaven also symbolizes the rebirth of romance in the couple. The description of the lady is also through the use of words like melodies, colors, sweet charms and the new earth and heavens (Stanza V, 11-17) (Thomson 236)). The use of symbols further strengthens the poem by creating imagery and establishing connections with the audience on what is expected.

Another artist tool is the tone used. From the first stanzas, the tone is depressing and sadistic but tones down along the stanzas embracing the feeling of love. Also, the poem embraces colored moods that show that show the changes in life from doom, to hope and other happier moods. The author sticks to the soul to seek cheers and make him happy (Hunter 227). The combination of the external joy and the focus of the world’s beauty to influence the mood of the eve of the wedding day points to the gist off happiness and romance that surrounds the ideas by the poet. The cheery note of the author notices many flowery and beautiful objects and things around that paint the mood of the event thus signifying romance (Thomson 218). The use of passing wind is significant of the passing of the former sorrowful times and welcoming of new feelings of romance. Stanza VII shows a varied use of the styles that include rhetoric questions, assonance expressed in the choice of words, and descriptions of the activities like “rushing crowds” to indicate the strength of the feeling of hope, love and romance to the expected newly-weds. Embracing joy in romance and in relationship erases some sufferings and causes the would-be couples to enjoy their union, revitalizing their energy and making the world brand new.

Melancholy is also used to show the progress made in the relationship and before and after the wedding. The speaker is reminded of some demonic celebrations through the passing of the wind. In the celebrations, though reminiscent of celebrating life, they are in good faith. The author wishes the couple good health, rest, peace, and joy at the last while the woman referring him to his number one “friend” since he wants happiness for her (Hunter 225). The wishes, the remembrance of the previous suffering and the choice of focusing on the soul and the things that make them happy signifies the cultivation of optimism in romance of the expected couple.

The work shows romance in imagination and points to the possible lost opportunities that the author and the bride would have gained suppose the environment and the conditions were enabling for love. Theme of romance is further expressed where the author expresses joy and wings of healing (Stanza VIII 3-9) and through cheerful eyes wishing her to raise again. The poem thus shows mixed feelings that symbolize optimism of strong romance in the expected couple in making.

Works Cited

Gantman, Julia. The Post Office, the Public Lecture, and" Dejection: An Ode": Public Influences on Coleridge's Poetic Intimacy. Diss. 2014.

Hunter, Walt. "Planetary Dejection: An Ode to the Commons." symploke 24.1 (2016): 225-239.

Thomson, Heidi. "Conclusion: ‘Dejection. An Ode’in the Morning Post as a Palimpsest." Coleridge and the Romantic Newspaper. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2016. 217-244.

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