Coleridge's Poems

The Dawn is Coming: “Frost at Midnight’s” Hope for the Next Generation College

It’s a common hope in the life of parents that their children will go on and live more successful lives. That their child will learn the lessons their parents taught them and the road their parents laid out for them to lead them to a more promising future. In Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “The Frost at Midnight,” we see the hopeful parent theme in Coleridge’s use of opposites, context, and word choice.

Even within the title we immediately see literary archetypes at work. Frost is a naturally occurring phenomenon that works rather slowly, has a tendency to kill living things, and usually only works at night or better said at the close of the day. Frost’s definition in this sense can almost exactly be exchanged with the death if we are to personify it formally as Death. Death is a naturally occurring thing, Death tends to end one’s life, and Death usually takes it’s time and comes for them at the end of their life. So the very first word in the title of the poem suggests death. The second part of the title is naming a very unique time of day. In all the minutes and hour in the day Coleridge chooses the exact minute of the day when one day dies and a brand new day begins. So the title alludes that Death is coming and it is the...

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