The effect on my feelings [...] I cannot better represent, than by supposing myself to have known only our light airy modern chapels of ease, and then for the first time to have been placed, and left alone, in one of our largest Gothic cathedrals in a gusty moonlight night of autumn. 'Now in glimmer, and now in gloom;' often in palpable darkness not without a chilly sensation of terror; then suddenly emerging into broad yet visionary lights with coloured shadows of fantastic shapes, yet all decked with holy insignia and mystic symbols; and ever and anon coming out full upon pictures and stone-work images of great men, with whose names I was familiar, but which looked upon me with countenances and an expression, the most dissimilar to all I had been in the habit of connecting with those names.
This imaginary friend is reporting his amazement. Knowing that the Ancient Mariner was amazed, shattered, shocked, adjusted, I'm wondering if this was the poet's vision of an ideal exchange, one party returning from a mind-blower and the other party listening humbly until they are transformed. The action of the Ancient Mariner is transmission. The fake friend tells Coleridge not to rest, the Mariner needs to "pass, like night, from land to land," and the Guest is not completed. "He went like one that hath been stunned." Friend Wordsworth venturing back from childhood. Richardson's Miriam, who has to leave home so that she can earn a living, notices, whenever she takes a holiday back to her old milieu, that she has been modified psychologically because she has adventured out. She knows that she has deepened. But she can't convey it to the others. Their experiences are different now, and her ability to communicate has developed a gap. She wishes people would read the work of Ralph Waldo Emerson. "These wonders are brought to our own door." (Emerson, Nature (1836)) John Clare, going out to glean the wood for his brain's nourishment, decides to retrieve the noise of a nightingale. That written transcription is not a poem to him. He never wants to publish it. The words he picks are the same ones that people before him have used when they wanted to show a reader the same bird, "tweet tweet" and "jug jug jug:" established words. What did he go to find? The German poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff transmits her uncle's story and it is not her uncle's story. Born in 1797, four years after Clare, she died sixteen years before him. I don't wonder who killed those men in her Judenbuche (1842). I want to know where Johannes the doppelgänger went.