By John Spencer Hill
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Extra resources for A Coleridge Companion: An Introduction to the Major Poems and the Biographia Literaria
Lines 5,8,13 and 21-5 in the 1796 text) and he added a new quatrain, in place of the deleted lines 21-5, so that after 'soft floating witchery of sound' the poem continued, 24 A Coleridge Companz'on Methinks, it should have been impossible Not to love all things in a World like this, Where e'en the Breezes of the simple Air Possess the power and Spirit of Melodyfl1 Fourteen years later, when he prepared the poem for inclusion in Sz'bylUne Leaves (1817), the first collective edition of his poetry, Coleridge again reworked his Clevedon 'Effusion'.
It is, as Michael Schmidt says, 'one of our great poems, a personal poem of shared joy, momentary optimism, sincere generosity of impulse'. 31 While these features of openness and selfless friendship need to be stressed, one must see as well that beneath the poem's relaxed exterior there lies a tightlyknit structure which is the vehicle of a deeply felt imaginative VISIon. The poem is based on the rondo pattern characteristic of the Conversation Poems: from the lime-tree bower to which he has been confined the poet ranges out in imagination and then returns to the bower again.
Never saw I his likeness, nor probably the world can see again. I seem to love the house he died in more passionately than when he lived . . What was his mansion is consecrated to me a chapel. '20 2 The Conversation Poems 'The Nightingale', which appeared in Lyrical Ballads (1798) with the subtitle' a Conversational Poem', is the only one of his poems to which Coleridge himself ever applied this particular epithet. However, following a suggestion made in 1925 by G. M. Harper, 1 twentieth-century readers have generally grouped together six poems composed between 1795 and 1798 as Coleridge's Conversation Poems: 'The Eolian Harp', 'Reflections on Having Left a Place of Retirement', 'This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison', 'Frost at Midnight', 'Fears in Solitude' and 'The Nightingale'.
A Coleridge Companion: An Introduction to the Major Poems and the Biographia Literaria by John Spencer Hill