Samuel Taylor Coleridge Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

How is hope a bee to the poet  in the poem "Youth and Age" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge? explanatory but precise answer asked.

Expert Answers info

Kristen Lentz eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2012

write2,471 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

"Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying,
Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee—
Both were mine!" (1-3)

Coleridge uses the simile of a bee to compare the way "hope clung feeding" to the blossoms in the breeze.  Coleridge's use of nature evokes a relaxed and simple mood, using the imagery of the bee feeding on blossoms to describe the hopefulness of youth.  As the reader considers Coleridge's choice of simile, the bee is a plucky, vital insect; it draws out the nectar and sweetness from the life of the blossom, and then spreads the pollen to other blossoms.  Hope, like the bee, also draws out the sweetness and vitality from life itself, making life more enjoyable and pleasant; Coleridge uses the simile of the bee to portray hope as being vital and energetic, capable of spreading enjoyment. The poet's portrayal of hope, the bee, and the blossoms definitely relates to his larger theme of youth.

Youth is often associated with spring time in seasonal poems like "Youth and Age;" in this particular poem, Coleridge uses the imagery of the bee and blossoms to evoke the feeling of spring, coupled with the hope of youth. 


check Approved by eNotes Editorial