The Poetry Of John Keats


The casual reader of John Keats' poetry would most certainly be
impressed by the exquisite and abundant detail of it's verse, the perpetual
freshness of it's phrase and the extraordinarily rich sensory images
scattered throughout it's lines. But, without a deeper, more intense
reading of his poems as mere parts of a larger whole, the reader may miss
specific themes and ideals which are not as readily apparent as are the
obvious stylistic hallmarks. Through Keats' eyes, the world is a place full
of idealistic beauty, both artistic and natural, who's inherent immortality,
is to him a constant reminder of that man is irrevocably subject to decay
and death. This theme is one which dominates a ...

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- which symbolise eternal and
idealistic images of profound beauty.

In Ode to a Nightingale, Keats uses the central symbol of a bird to
exemplify the perfect beauty in nature. The nightingale sings to the poet's
senses whose ardour for it's song makes the bird eternal and thus reminds
him of how his own mortality separates him from this beauty. The poem
begins: "My heart aches, and a drowsey numbness pains" (Norton 1845). In
this first line Keats introduces his own immortality with the aching heart
- a machine of flesh with a fixed number of life-giving beats. He also
employs a common poetic device to indicate a visionary activity is about to
follow with the admission to a state of "drowsey numbness". In this case,
the visionary action is the poet slowly lapsing into the nightingale's
world, opening his senses to the true nature of the bird while other "men
sit and hear each other groan" (Norton 1845). This state of
semiconsciousness allows for his understanding that, ...

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and profound beauty which Keats had earlier discovered in the
nightingale. Keats admits to the simple ease with which the art is able to
express it's essence in the first stanza when he writes, "sylvan historian,
who can thus express / a flowery tale more sweetly than the rhmye" (Norton
1847). He is suggesting that art has the power to impress upon the viewer
"more sweetly" than can the written word impress upon the reader. In the
second stanza Keats introduces the idea that the unheard song, and by
extension that all impression experienced through means other than the
physical senses, are more lasting and perfect than those understood through
the "sensual ear", for they are not subject ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 8/9/2004 05:59:23 PM
Category: Poetry & Poets
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1473
Pages: 6

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