Sonnet to the River Otter

Visual Poetry by Jason Brown

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born in 1772 and died in 1834. Coleridge and other writers started the Romantic Era.


He was also a teacher who taught about poetry and writing.


Without Coleridge and other creative writers like him, the Romantic Era may not have come to pass.

Gentle Stream #1 - 11 hours - Gentle Rivers & Streams, nature sound, relaxing water

Sonnet to the River Otter (poem)

Dear native Brook! wild Streamlet of the West!

How many various-fated years have past,

What happy and what mournful hours, since last

I skimm'd the smooth thin stone along thy breast,

Numbering its light leaps! yet so deep imprest

Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes

I never shut amid the sunny ray,

But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,

Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey,

And bedded sand that vein'd with various dyes

Gleam'd through thy bright transparence! On my way,

Visions of Childhood! oft have ye beguil'd

Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs:

Ah! That once more I were a careless Child!

Main Idea

In the poem, a person is thinking while they are sitting at a river. The river reminds the person about their childhood since they use to visit it when they were young. It makes them wish they were young again because they don't like being an adult.

Theme

Being a Kid is Easy

A kid and an adult are two different people. Kids don't have to worry about the things adults worry about. They spend most of their time playing and growing. Adults have to worry about bills, work, and other things.


Looking at the river helps the person in the poem remember their life as a kid. He says he wants to be a kid in lines 13 and 14:


Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs:

Ah! That once more I were a careless Child!


The speaker thinks that being an adult is lonely because he uses the word "lone." They also think being a kid is great because they use the word "careless."

A Place of Peace

Romantics feel that nature is a place of healing and peace. They think that people are able to think better in nature.


In line 12, Coleridge says:



Visions of Childhood! oft have ye beguil'd


The speaker isn't able to remember their life as kid unless they are at the river. It helps them feel better.

Big image

Poetic Technique

Sonnet

Sonnets are love poems. They are usually about another person and are 14 lines long. Coleridge's poem isn't about a person. It's about the love of a river. It can also be about nature which put people at peace.

Personification

Personification is when something that isn't human acts like a human. Coleridge's poem talks about the river as if it's a real person. In the 4th line, he says:


I skimm'd the smooth thin stone along thy breast


A river is just water. It doesn't have human body parts.

Imagery

Imagery is when words put pictures in your head. Coleridge uses imagery to make sure you see the river.

You can see the sun setting in lines 7 and 8:



I never shut amid the sunny ray,

But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,

You can see the sand at the bottom of the river in lines 9 - 11:



Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey,

And bedded sand that vein'd with various dyes

Gleam'd through thy bright transparence!

Did you know?

Wordswoth and Coleridge were friends

The two started the Romantic Era. They wrote a book together called Lyrical Ballads.

The River Otter is Real!

The River Otter is in England. It goes underneath the English Channel. Coleridge use to live near the river.


This poem could have been about himself.