Keats is remarkable for his attention to concrete details in this description of the vintage wine. He had no gainful occupation and no prospects, since he had abandoned his medical studies. Kate Prudchenko has been a writer and editor for five years, publishing peer-reviewed articles, essays, and book chapters in a variety of publications including Immersive Environments: Future Trends in Education and Contemporary Literary Review India. An implication of this reading is that the bird is integrated into nature or is part of natural processes whereas we are separated from nature. Can you trace the progression of thought and imagery in these two stanzas? Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! Does the experience which Keats describes change the dreamer? What is the relationship of the bird to the world the poet describes? But poetry does not work the way it is supposed to. The preoccupation with death does not seem to have been caused by any turn for the worse in Keats' fortunes at the time he wrote the ode May 1819.
It's to the trees what Jimmy Buffet is to the beach hey-ya! Imagine him swaying back and forth, kind of drunk and out of it. The bird's happiness is conveyed in its singing. Because the poet cannot see in the darkness, he must rely on his other senses. But wine is not needed to enable him to escape. What kinds of activities is the brain often associated with, in contrast to the heart, which is associated with emotion? As you read, pick out which words express his pleasure and which ones express his pain and which words express his intense feeling and which his numbed feeling. Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget What thou among the leaves hast never known, The weariness, the fever, and the fret Here, where men sit and hear each other groan; Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs, Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies; Where but to think is to be full of sorrow And leaden-eyed despairs, Where Beauty cannot keep her lustrous eyes, Or new Love pine at them beyond to-morrow.
Hippocrene: a fountain on Mount Helicon in Boeotia, sacred to the Muses. She worked in the field of Bo'az to earn her living and ultimately was rewarded for her devotion and kindness to her mother-in-law. Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain - To thy high requiem become a sod. Turning his attention to the scents of the 'embalmed darkness' which hints, once again, at the presence of death , the speaker practically bombards our noses with the smells of the forest grass, fruit trees, and flowers. The influential myth of Philomela, turned into a nightingale after being raped and tortured, stresses melancholy and suffering in association with love.
Keats yearns to die, a state which he imagines as only joyful, as pain-free, and to merge with the bird's song. His awareness of the real world brings him back to the reality of pain-joy. Wine, however, is rejected in favour of the poetic imagination. Perhaps even Ruth whose story is told in the Old Testament heard it. The bird has ceased to be a symbol and is again the actual bird the poet heard in stanza I.
The poem Ode to a nightingale thus maintains the dramatic debate between two voices of the poet. The imagined world described in the rest of the stanza is dark; what qualities are associated with this darkness, e. The poet wishes to merge his identity with that of the bird. Ode's Diction Establishes Conflicting Relationships The major theme in the ode is the perception of a conflicted existence within human life. At the start of the poem, the heavy sense of melancholy draws allusions to Ode to Melancholy, and Keats — despite the death imagery — does not really want to die. .
This stanza offers us a somewhat unsettling revelation. Sparkling wine… the sounds bring the image to life and we can sense it for ourselves. Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! How are these different effects created? Lines 7-10 That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees, In some melodious plot Of beechen green, and shadows numberless, Singest of summer in full-throated ease. This image of the bubbles is concrete; in contrast, the preceding imagery in the stanza is abstract. Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain - To thy high requiem become a sod. He says that it seems rich to die at that very moment when he is at the heights of ecstasy, experiencing a rich and sensuous excitement. In these opening lines, the identification is not total; Keats is aware of his self which explains his pains and aches , but gradually the self-consciousness fades as drowsy numbness overtakes him and the possibility of total identification is on the rise as the later lines in the stanza explain.
His depression is thus implicit in his desire for escape. It has also been associated with poetry. These choices also allow the poet to establish a particular tone for the poem and create a specific kind of mood in the mind of the reader. Much like the second stanza, the fifth stanza exists mostly to stimulate the reader's senses especially the sense of smell. Before you make this judgment, consider alternate interpretations.
The mood in the opening quatrain contradicts the latter mood in the sestet. Each one of them is given prominence separately. Eglantine is properly the sweet-briar, though popularly applied to various varieties of the wild rose. The song of the nightingale is described in visual imagery. He is even uncertain whether he is asleep or awake. It is art, but art that cannot be viewed and has no physical form.