Great Memory

Memory… is the diary that we all carry about with us” is a quote by Oscar Wilde that in my personal opinion describes memory pretty well. Memory is something that people carry with them all the time. It is a powerful thing and something that most people never want to lose. In some cases memories can be of something good or they can also be a bad memory. It all depends on how you want to remember it. Samuel Taylor Coleridge talks about memory in one of his poems he wrote called “Frost at Midnight. ” Also there is talk about memory in “Ode to the West Wind” written by
Percy Bysshe Shelly. Both of these poems show how the authors are using their memories to write the pomes. Both writers talk about a memory they have and they tell a story using it. Coleridge talks about how he feels now and reflects to how he felt as a child while raising his own child. Shelly talks about how he wishes he felt different now and how he wants to feel like he did when he was young. Both authors I think are sort of depressed. In their poems the tone is kind of melancholy and sad. In “Frost at Midnight” it is winter time hence the name.
And in the winter is when he feels lonelier. The author lives in a cottage and it is very late at night. In the poem he talks about it being so quite. In the poem he says “The inmates of my cottage, all at rest. Have lett me to that solitude, which suits abstract musings: save that at my side my cradled infant slumbers peacefully’ (as cited in Damrosch, 2004, p. 344). Everyone is asleep even his child is sound asleep; he is the only one up. And he is starting to feel lonely with all the stillness. The only other thing that is up is a piece of soot in the fire place.

As Coleridge says in the poem “Only that film, which fluttered on the rate, still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing. Great Memory 3 Methinks, its motion in this hush nature gives it dim sympathies with me who live, making it a companionable form” (p. 344). This piece of “film” or soot makes him think back to his childhood. This is where the memory part comes into play. He is thinking back to his child hood. He is thinking about his birthplace, the old church-tower, and the bells of the poor man and thinking about this is making him homesick. Then he talks about how he was a lonely child.
In the poem he says “save if the door half opened, and I natched a hasty glance , and still my heart leaped up, for still I hoped to see the stranger’s face, townsman, or aunt, or sister, more beloved, my playmate when we both were clothed alike” (p. 344). This is when I think that the author is most depressed in this poem. Reflecting back to his childhood makes him sad and feel lonely. Reflecting back on his childhood and how he felt that loneliness he talks later on about how he wants better for his child. He doesn’t want his kid to feel the emptiness and loneliness that he is feeling and has felt as a child.
He says “but thou, my babe! Shalt wander like a breeze by lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags of ancient mountain, beneath the clouds, which image in their bulk both lakes and shores and mountain crags: so shalt thou see and hear the lovely shapes and sounds intelligible of that eternal language” (p. 345). He wants his child to have better childhood than he did. He wants his child to have more and be better than he was a child. He says that he wants all seasons to be sweet for his child. In this poem he uses his 4 memory to tell a story and he was as a child and how he doesn’t was his child to row up feeling like he did as a kid.
In “Ode to the West Wind” Percy Shelly is talking about a storm that is going to hit. In this poem he talks about being weighed down and he wants to be free again. And he feels like this storm will do that for him. In this poem he wants the wind to inspire him to write poetry, and wants new thoughts. The writer doesn’t even care that this storm is going to hit. He is welcoming it with open arms. The wind is blowing the leaves and clouds and is blowing over the ocean. He wants to be the wind. Memory is talked about in this poem when the talks about how he wants to be ree again.
He wants to feel Joy and emotion again. He feels like this storm can do that for him that’s why he wants it to come. In the poem he says “The impulse of thy strength, only less free than thou, o uncontrollable! If even I were as in my boyhood, and could be free the comrade of thy wanderings over heaven, as then, when to outstrip the skiey speed scarce seemed a vision, I would ne’er have striven” (as cited in Damrosch, 2004, p. 401). This says if he was in his boyhood he would be free and as an adult he is not. So that is why he refers to going back to his childhood to be ree again. His childh memory is a g one.
And as ne got older ne teels like ne isn’t free and wants a free spirit. I think his tone in this is also sad. But when he talks about his boyhood I think he is feeling better. In both of these poem that I discussed go back to a memory. But however, both of the memories are different. In Coleridge’s “Frost at Midnight” the memory he refers to is sad and Great Memory 5 not one that a person wants to remember. He talks about how lonely he was as a child how he hoped he would see someone he knows while he was at school. Every ay he hoped that he would see someone threw the window that he would know.
And he hoped that his child would never feel like this. He wanted to make sure his child had better and felt better than he did. In Percy Shellys “Ode to the West Wind” the memory also goes back to his childhood, but in this poem his childhood was a good time. In this poem he talks about how he wished he was back in his boyhood because was free then. As an adult he doesn’t feel free, he feels weighed down. That’s why he wants to storm to come he feels it will make him feel something again. This memory is a happy one. One that a person would want to remember, not like the one is Coleridge’s “Frost as Midnight. In both of these poems I think that there is a common theme of emotion and nature. Both of them describe how they are feeling. One is lonely and one feels no joy. But they both use nature to describe it. Coleridge uses the winter and the frost. And Shelly uses the big storm that is about to his to describe how he feels in the poem. With both of these poem is shows that a memory is not always good or bad, happy or sad. They can be both. And In the two poems I picked to write about the authors, Samuel Coleridge and Percy Shelly, talk about memorys they had.
Both of them happen to be different. One is a happy memory and one that he wants to remember. And the other is one that is not so happy, more of a gloomy memory that he doesn’t want to remember. Memories are what you make of them. You are the only person who can decide how they are going to be remembered. Great Memory 6 No one else can tell you how to feel or how to keep things in your memory. “Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things ou never want to lose – From the television show The Wonder Years” I think this is a perfect quote for memory.

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