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Word Count: 2,041
Frost at Midnight is another of Coleridges most famous Conversation poems In it through musing on some childhood memories set off by the quiet within his cottage Coleridge partly muses on those psychological states that produce poetry Hence it is another perfect exemplar of an imaginative journey - and again it is one which eventually broadens his own understanding of the world The following analysis takes you carefully through the poem As you read it think about how it shows the journey of Coleridges consciousness The Frost performs its secret ministry l1 Here Coleridge establishes an air of a magical quasi-religious process at work in the simple natural act of the frost falling outside The line also implies a strong energy at work - despite this sense of energy it is silence that is to be the most overwhelming sense in the poem Unhelped by any wind l2 The feeling of extreme stillness is built up broken only by the cry of the owlet - a cry which Coleridge uses to draw the reader into the poem with the direct address of hark again l3 From here in the typically systolic movement Coleridge then moves his attention from outside and we discover as he moves his attention inward that indeed he himself is inside a cottage l4 and that the description of the outside world has been a piece of imagination Continuing the narrowing focus Coleridge then focuses his attention on himself alone l5 and then again outward somewhat onto a sleeping child My cradled infant slumbers peacefully l7 The innocence of the cradled infant stands in opposition to the almost sinister secretiveness of the opening line The condition that dominates the poem at this point is that of extreme quiet and stillness Tis calm indeed so calm that it disturbs And vexes meditation with its strange And extreme silentness ll8-10 The notion of a calm so great
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