The image of the "reading woman" as cultural consumer haunts the romantic imagination. The recurrent image of women as consumers in Romantic poetry is partially due to male poets` preoccupation with audience in an increasingly feminized literary market. The sympathetic female auditor of the conversation poem serves to mitigate the male poets` fears about the reception of their poetry. At the same time, unruly, disruptive images of women illuminate male anxiety about poetic reception. In Coleridge`s "The Nightingale," the poet`s attempt to establish a poetic community is frustrated by the figure of the "gentle maid." The nightingales` song becomes "choral minstrelsy," indicating the fetishization of poetic identities in the contemporary literary market. To overcome this crisis, Coleridge defines his poem as a "father`s tale," designating his son as the ultimate recipient of his poetry. Instead of the figure of the reading woman, Coleridge opts for the figure of the artistic heir as the idealized audience for his poetry. Wordsworth`s "To Joanna" shows how the poet`s fear of a feminine audience is translated in his dealings with the female character who threatens to subvert his authority. When Joanna`s laughter abruptly shatters the poet`s lofty, sublime vision of nature, Wordsworth feels the woman`s laugh is powerful enough to evoke echoes from all nature. The rest of the poem is an effort on the poet`s part to escape the influence of the feminine and establish his cultural authority. First by reducing Joanna to a woman in need of masculine protection, by designating her as a problematic other to be governed by the male community, and ultimately by inscribing her identity upon the natural scene, Wordsworth seeks to reclaim an authoritative poetic voice.