William Wordsworth’s, “Ode: Intimations of Immortality” is what inspired his friend, Samuel Coleridge, to write “Dejection: An Ode.” The connection the two writers have with nature is their method of nature to express the feelings of their inner soul. Coleridge was in a state of sadness, confusion, and separation from his imaginative soul when he composed “Dejection: An Ode.” The separation from the imaginative soul which Coleridge feels is similar to the separation that Wordsworth observed between mature adults and heaven. Coleridge and Wordsworth both realized that the soul was the guiding light for seeing the beauty in nature, while Wordsworth thought that joy would come from nature and enlighten the soul, Coleridge believed that joy came from within the soul, and the joyful soul is what allowed nature to be so beautiful.
Coleridge’s separation from his imaginative soul is the reason for his depression and inability to write. In “Dejection: An Ode,” he wants nothing more than to regain his creativity and understanding of nature and human condition because then his dejection will fade away. In stanza three he says,
“My genial spirits fail; and what can these avail to lift the smothering weight from off my breast? It were a vain endeavor, though I should gaze for ever on that green light that lingers in the west: I may not hope from outward forms to win the passion and the life, whose fountains are within” (Abrams, 460).
He wants the storm (the green light lingering) to subside because with its passing he hopes his depression will depart, allowing him to find the joy within himself and to once again see the beauty in nature.
Samuel Coleridge was a very influential poet who left his mark upon the next generations of poets and writers. His work has been approved by many people like Wordsworth for instance. One of his most famous poems is “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.” In this poem Coleridge creates unique image in which the interplay between nature, religion and his own philosophy on the world, builds the very ...
In “Ode: Intimations of Immortality,” Wordsworth reveals, through creative imagination, how the beauty of nature can stimulate a mature philosophical mind to regain its intimacy with childhood, so that knowledge forgotten through maturity can be salvaged.
“What though the radiance which was once so bright be now for ever taken from my sight, though nothing can bring back the hour of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower; We will grieve not, rather find strength in what remains behind; In the primal sympathy which having been must ever be; In the soothing thoughts that spring out of human suffering; In the faith that looks through death, in years that bring the philosophic mind” (Abrams, 291).
This philosophical mind will allow for the recovery of man’s native dignity by seeing in nature the “trailing clouds of glory” (Abrams, 289).
These “trailing clouds of glory” are like the joy surrounding the distant but not forgotten knowledge of Heaven we had at infancy.
Coleridge also writes about the clouds that are in the ominous storm lingering outside his window. He sees the clouds as having natural beauty, which leads him to rediscover his inner joy, “Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud – We in ourselves rejoice! (Abrams, 461).
The joy Coleridge writes about is the connection between the inner soul and the life of nature.
Despite the difference between Coleridge, who looks for inner joy in the soul to find beauty in nature, and Wordsworth, who looks for beauty in nature to find inner joy, both find the natural joy they are searching for. The beauty of both of these poems, besides the simplistic and creative vocabulary characteristic to the Romantic Period poets, is that at the end of both of these poems, the writer/speaker has worked through their quandary. Wordsworth and Coleridge leave the reader with both vitality of the inner soul and awe of the life in nature.