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Metrical Feet

Metrical Feet

by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Man and the Natural World Theme

Coleridge really loves nature, and he wants his son to love nature, too. When he discusses what it would take for his son to become a poet in "Metrical Feet," he stresses the importance of taking "delight" in all aspects of the natural world, the "things of earth, water, and skies" (12). It seems that an understanding of and love for nature are essential to becoming a poet – perhaps even more essential than understanding things like meter and rhyme. A true poet is a man of nature.

Questions About Man and the Natural World

  1. How does the speaker feel about nature?
  2. Why does Coleridge talk about nature, anyway? What has that got to do with poetry?
  3. How important is "delighting" in nature for an artist, according to this poem? How important do you think it is for an artist?
  4. What do you think is more important to Coleridge: a love of nature or an understanding of meter?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

The speaker's language in the second half of the poem suggests that a poet's relationship to the natural world is actually more important than a poet's knowledge of meter.

The rhyme on "Coleridge" and "whole ridge" emphasize that man is part of nature.

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