Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Frost at Midnight

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It was to his poem “The Nightingale” that Coleridge gave the subtitle “A Conversation Poem” that would eventually be adopted for a whole genre. As well as meaning an “interchange of thoughts and words; familiar discourse and talk”,

conversation

means (quoting the OED) “the act of living or having one’s being

in

or

among

”, “the action of consorting with others; living together; commerce, society, intimacy”. Coleridge had found all of these things at Nether Stowey in Somerset in July 1797 when he gathered around him a set of intimate friends, new and old. There was Sara Coleridge, his wife, and their baby, Hartley Coleridge, born in September of the previous year. There was Tom Poole, Coleridge’s patron, friend, and father-figure whose house (and extensive library)…

2866 words

Citation: Christie, William Henry. "Frost at Midnight". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 April 2008 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=23052, accessed 05 March 2024.]

23052 Frost at Midnight 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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