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Ode to a Nightingale - John Keats Poetry - Keats' Kingdom

Date of publication: 2017-07-08 21:40

Away! away! for I will fly to thee,
Not charioted by Bacchus and his pards,
But on the viewless wings of Poesy,
Though the dull brain perplexes and retards:
Already with thee! tender is the night,
And haply the Queen-Moon is on her throne,
Cluster&rsquo d around by all her starry Fays
But here there is no light,
Save what from heaven is with the breezes blown
Through verdurous glooms and winding mossy ways.

SparkNotes: Keats’s Odes: Ode to a Nightingale

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine
Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Bored of Studies - Student online community, resources

7. Re-read verse 6 in the light of your comments on the last question. Is the emergence of the 'death wish' surprising? How does Keats resolve the conflict between this impulse and the quality of imaginary experience in verses 9 and 5?

SparkNotes: Keats’s Odes: To Autumn

In &ldquo To Autumn,&rdquo the speaker&rsquo s experience of beauty refers back to earlier odes (the swallows recall the nightingale the fruit recalls joy&rsquo s the goddess drowsing among the poppies recalls Psyche and Cupid lying in the grass), but it also recalls a wealth of earlier poems. Most importantly, the image of Autumn winnowing and harvesting (in a sequence of odes often explicitly about creativity) recalls an earlier Keats poem in which the activity of harvesting is an explicit metaphor for artistic creation. In his sonnet &ldquo When I have fears that I may cease to be,&rdquo Keats makes this connection directly:

I cannot see what flowers are at my feet,
Nor what soft incense hangs upon the boughs,
But, in embalmed darkness, guess each sweet
Wherewith the seasonable month endows
The grass, the thicket, and the fruit-tree wild
White hawthorn, and the pastoral eglantine
Fast fading violets cover&rsquo d up in leaves
And mid-May&rsquo s eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toil me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam'd to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music: - Do I wake or sleep?

8775 A thing of beauty is a joy forever:
Its loveliness increases it will never
Pass into nothingness but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and asleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. 8776

6. Re-read from 'Already with thee!..' in verse 9 to the end of verse 5. The scene is peppered in terms of touch, smell and hearing, rather than sight. Do you see any significance in this? What do you notice about the phrases: 'soft-incence', and 'embalmed darkness'?

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