(urth) fifth head owlet- wolf

Jerry Friedman jerry_friedman at yahoo.com
Tue Mar 26 21:22:27 PDT 2013

> From: Marc Aramini <marcaramini at yahoo.com>

>T he opening quote, about the ivy tod being heavy with snow and the owlet 
> whooping to a wolf below that eats the she wolf's young, has always seemed a 
> bit ambiguous.

It does bring Christianity in by means of the hermit, though.

> The opening scene involves David making noises with the pan 
> pipes.  Is this like the owl whooping to the wolfe, number five, who will one 
> day kill another wolfe as his own father has consumed his free life and taken 
> the life of his originator? The only other mention of an owl is when maitre in 
> VRT is called an owl.  There are forty seven pan pipes and later the prisoner 
> forty seven taps on the pipes to communicate with VRT.  He is a political 
> prisoner.
> Does the wolf eat the young of its mother in the quote?  (Number four and five 
> et al continually consuming each other- they are wolfes) the quote is certainly 
> not referring to the owl as the consumer of wolves, right?

I think so.  The OED says an "owlet" is "especially a young or small owl", though
Coleridge might have added the "let" just for the meter.  Wolves had a reputation
as cannibalistic.


Also as I see it, David is more the "she-wolf's young" than the Wolfe clones, since

in some sense they aren't a woman's offspring.

On a tangent, in another poem Coleridge compared atheism to an owlet.


Jerry Friedman

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