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Much of this interest stems from the fact that the poem is a complex and perplexing document which was greatly revised over a period of twenty-three years. No one would claim that it is an unqualified success or that it shows no trace of the file. The first draft is a mere seventeen lines in length and, since the The Conversatz'on Poems 23 manuscript is dated 'Clevedon, August 20th, 1795', it was apparently composed when Coleridge and his bride-to-be visited Clevedon to rent the cottage in which they were to spend their first months of marriage.

THE EOLIAN HARP' 'The Eolian Harp' has attracted a good deal of scholarly attention. Much of this interest stems from the fact that the poem is a complex and perplexing document which was greatly revised over a period of twenty-three years. No one would claim that it is an unqualified success or that it shows no trace of the file. The first draft is a mere seventeen lines in length and, since the The Conversatz'on Poems 23 manuscript is dated 'Clevedon, August 20th, 1795', it was apparently composed when Coleridge and his bride-to-be visited Clevedon to rent the cottage in which they were to spend their first months of marriage.

Nevertheless, the dell is an ambivalent symbol. Despite its life and motion, it remains claustrophobic - a dark enclosure cut off from the larger world. Its movement is self-contained and selfgenerated, an image still of egotism; and the poet's eye is led down the scala naturae from the branchless ash straining toward the light, to the file of long lank weeds in the dark interior, to the completely inanimate 'blue clay-stone' given the appearance oflife by the water dripping from its edge. And this last image, which draws attention to itself by its three heavy stresses, admirably summarises the ambiguous nature of the description as a whole: while the stone is itself lifeless and inert, it is still' blue clay-stone' - blue being the traditional colour both of hope and spiritual insight.

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