Death and all things associated with it numb the experience of anguish. Keats' special variation on the theme was to make the claim that the keenest experience of melancholy was to be obtained not from death but from the contemplation of beautiful objects because they were fated to die. The general idea of the poem is that sadness is to be found not in the ugly and painful things of life, but in the beauty and pleasures of the world. Traditional odes consisted of three parts: the strophe, the antistrophe, and the epode. Is there a suggestion that melancholy is or may be fruitful? Throughout the poem, Keats yokes or joins elements which are ordinarily regarded as incompatible or as opposites. Also the lines three and six begin with the word nor and he uses this word in order to reinforce his ideas to the readers.
The above stanza was removed prior to publication. At least then you have an awareness, and can appreciate the beauty that life holds. Ode to a nightingale Make not your rosary of yew-berries, Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl A partner in your sorrow's mysteries; For shade to shade will come too drowsily, And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul. This is true especially of the second two stanzas. Keats' own experience of life and his individual temperament made him acutely aware of the close relationship between joy and sorrow.
Keats does not stray away from the suggestion that feeling intensely means that grief or depression may cause sorrow and torture. John Keats was especially good at this—even though he often wrote in traditional forms like the and , he wrote his poems about deeply felt passions and emotions, not about historical events or the wealthy upper crust of society. Thee in this citation refers to the nightingale. The repetition shows that the speaker is quite invested in what they are talking about, and trying their very best to get their message across. Just make sure you cheer yourself up afterwards. Note: The first draft of the ode is lost and the above stanza is not included in the surviving drafts.
The death-moth or butterfly represented the soul leaving the body at death. See, he had just made a huge breakthrough in his writing, and he wasn't going to have a chance to see what he was capable of. Keats personifies death into a Goddess. John Keats uses his values and emotions to portray to readers the way to handles things. When he found out that he'd gotten tuberculosis, too, he was heartbroken. The rain temporarily hides the view or hill remember all these nature images are descriptions of melancholy ; however the hill is green, connoting fertility, lushness, beauty, aliveness, and it retains these qualities whether we can see them at a particular moment or not. He characterizes her by describing the company that she keeps: Beauty, Joy and Pleasure.
He was straining to create images of death that would convey something of the repulsiveness of death — to give the reader a romantic shudder of the Gothic kind — and what he succeeded in doing was repulsive instead of delicately suggestive and was out of keeping with what he achieved in the rest of the poem. Line 4 offers a specific example of the abstractions of lines 1-3; as the bee sips nectar a pleasurable activity , the nectar turns to poison. The poem in fact had one stanza before the present first stanza, and so also the present poem begins like a drama of thoughts in medias res; the conflict has brought the speaker to a phase of resolution where he begins by declaring his understanding of the dialectics. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and John Keats. Or if the one he loves is angry, let him hold her hand and feed on the loveliness of her eyes. Immediately, we are being entreated to do something or rather not to do something , but more than this, Keats is assuming that the natural impulse when melancholy grips us is to seek to eradicate it.
Keats connects each positive feeling with its melancholy end. The last four lines turn from nature to people. But, each of them has within itself the seeds of its opposites that can be summed up as melancholy. The choice lies between oblivion and awareness. Note how the poet uses two kinds of the same plant: plants that are poisonous and cause death, yet there are plants which are richly scented and appear beautiful, and thus cause happiness and a way to channel through melancholy. You have to suffer to become better Additional points: Only if you've experienced depression can you embrace happiness. When literary types talk about the poets of the , they usually start with the Big Six.
Throughout the poem Keats expresses his values and emotions by constructing a certain sense of the poem. In the second stanza, the speaker tells the sufferer what to do in place of the things he forbade in the first stanza. All six of them were interested in tossing out poetic conventions and traditions and rebelling against the kinds of fancy pants poetry that had become popular in the 18th century. Intention The intention of the poem is to inform the reader on how to deal with melancholy. This supports the theme that the poet wants to escape reality, and does. Atypically for him, he revised the fair copy.
Tears taint or nourish it. The rest of the stanza advises what to do in these circumstances: enjoy as fully as possible the beauties of this world and thereby welcome melancholy. Ever had a day or a week, or a month when you just couldn't shake a bad mood? Instead, when a fit of melancholy descends, drown out the melancholy with beautiful things. The last lines in these stanzas are sad. I hope this made sense to you guys.
No, Keats isn't telling us how to get over ourselves or our bad mood. The speaker has fully rejected his earlier indolence and set out to engage actively with the ideas and themes that preoccupy him, but his action in this poem is still fantastical, imaginative, and strenuous. Though Keats removed this stanza from his poem the resulting work is subtler and less overwrought , the story's questing hero still provides perhaps the best framework in which to read this poem. But when the melancholy fit shall fall Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud, 'weeping cloud'- tears watering plants and creating life That fosters the droop-headed flowers all, And hides the green hill in an April shroud; Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose, This first part of the second stanza is about using sorrow for something beautiful- a fresh creation. And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips Joy is personified as male and melancholy as female— suggests what Keats thinks of woman— they only cause sorrow for him Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh, Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips: Feeding on victims' melancholy only those who have experienced joy Ay, in the very temple of Delight Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine, Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine; Takes effort to get joy, but once you've got it it's worth it. By the third stanza, melancholy is entrenched and the rhythm is slowed through enjambment and interruptive punctuation marks—a dash, semi-colon, or comma. It could also show the timelessness of the subject matter, because sadness is something all people have dealt with throughout the ages.
The last line in stanzas 4-7 are about the fairy woman. The stanza with which Keats decided to begin the poem is startling, but not crude. This cheerful trio is an unusual company for the somber Melancholy. By him using a certain structure and theme, this work stands out from any of his other works. To experience true melancholy then one must rather stimulate all senses. She dwells with BeautyBeauty that must die; And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh, Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips: Ay, in the very temple of Delight Veil'd Melancholy has her sovran shrine, Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue Can burst Joy's grape against his palate fine; His soul shall taste the sadness of her might, And be among her cloudy trophies hung. Relevant Background Information In the spring of 1819, English poet John Keats wrote Five Great Odes of 1819, which some critics have considered the best odes of the century.