Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! One is Keats' evaluation of life; life is a vale of tears and frustration. I believe that the 'events' of the ode, as it unfolds in time, have more logic, however, than is usually granted them, and that they are best seen in relation to Keats's pursuit of the idea of music as a nonrepresentational art. We are already aware that the soldier has lost an arm and his legs, yet here we are told that before the War he felt proud to have an injury, and to be carried shoulder- high. For example his acute awareness of ' taste ' is reflected in passage like the following: The shows the ripeness and maturity of his poetic faculty. But for the most part the passion, for all its intensity, is focused and controlled.
Furthermore, in creating any aspect of the nightingale immortal during the poem the narrator separates any union that he can have with the nightingale. The song's conclusion represents the result of trying to escape into the realm of fancy. Keats uses repetition, punctuation, and run-ons to slow the rhythm down. O, for a draught of vintage! Their songbird is a happy nightingale that lacks the melancholic feel of previous poetic depictions. The poem incorporates a complex reliance on —the repetition of vowel sounds—in a conscious pattern, as found in many of his poems.
Can you trace the progression of thought and imagery in these two stanzas? Keats says that he is only half in love with death and we will discover Keats' offer of explanation to this in the last two lines. Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird! Stanza I describes the poet's excitement as he listens to the song of a nightingale. Fled is that music:---do I wake or sleep? He cannot even ascertain the different fragrances endowed by the summer season. However, he worked on the four poems together, and there is a unity in both their stanza forms and their themes. The is a romantic poem like Keats ' other odes and deals with a world and experience which are different and remote from the real ones. The style of the poem is Shakespearean. Fled is that music: — Do I wake or sleep? 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.
John Keats was an English romantic poet. Such a conception may be just idle whimsies on his part. The third main thought in the ode is the power of imagination or fancy. The Romantic poets developed a new form of ode often called the romantic meditative ode. This is further evidenced by the poems' structures, where Keats combines two different types of lyrical poetry in an experimental way: the odal hymn and the lyric of questioning voice that responds to the odal hymn. The frequent switches between present and past in the structure of the poem, and the juxtaposition of remembrance and realisation casts a harsh light on everything the soldier has lost.
But alongside this death wish comes the still greater painful awareness that death marks not only severance from the pains of life but also from the bird and its sweet song as well. Seriously ill with tuberculosis, Keats died in Rome when he was twenty-six. In the beginning, Keats seems to be an immature youth with a melancholic heart urging to find a means of oblivion and escape. Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep? Death was a constant theme that permeated aspects of Keats poetry because he was exposed to death of his family members throughout his life. Three main thoughts stand out in the ode. And it is here that we experience the depth of Keats ' struggle to control his personal experience and to give poetic expression.
But, as the ode makes clear, man cannot—or at least not in a visionary way. The poet is also aware that he is human and therefore even if he were to fly away into the nightingale's world, he cannot forever stay there in happiness. Still, wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain — To thy high requiem become a sod. He is even uncertain whether he is asleep or awake. Keats also draws a romantic image of Ruth. He cannot therefore dismiss what he has dimly perceived and described, for this may, indeed, be the true reality: Was it a vision, or a waking dream? The poet desires that wine and poetic imagination together may help him to escape into the world of the nightingale.
It does not follow that what is not true to them, is not true to others. Keats felt a tranquil and continual joy in her song; and one morning he took his chair from the breakfast-table to the grass-plot under a plum-tree, where he sat for two or three hours. We are transported from the poet in the garden to the bird in the trees; in the second stanza we have glimpses of Flora and Provence, followed by one of the poets drinking the wine; in the fourth stanza we are taken up into the starlit skies, and in the next we are back again in the flower-scented darkness. The nightingale described within the poem experiences a type of death but does not actually die. The two mythological references establish a surreal mood—that state between reality and dreaming perhaps.
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain- - To thy high requiem become a sod. The pictorial quality accompanied by sensuousness provides us a picture gallery. The poet and his fellow humans groan because human happiness is not permanent: some are paralyzed with old age and others lose childhood to youth. The sweet music of the nightingale sent the poet in rapture and one morning he took his chair from the breakfast table, put it on the grass-plot under the plum tree and composed the poem. As mortal beings who will eventually die, we can delay death through the timelessness of music, poetry, and other types of art. Despite the semi-darkness around, he is able to imagine the flowers and their colours through their sweet scent. You can recall his earlier description of a state of numbness in stanza I.
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme, To take into the air my quiet breath; Now more than ever seems it rich to die; To cease upon the midnight with no pain, While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad In such an ecstasy! All of his five senses are equally keen. The poet relates that during his lifetime he has desired of death many a times. Yet Keats concludes the poem with unresolved questions. Although the poem is regular in form, it leaves the impression of being a kind of rhapsody; Keats is allowing his thoughts and emotions free expression. They also process a dramatic quality for we are made aware of the presence of two voices engaged in a lyrical debate. Leavis too austere, but he points out a quality which Keats plainly sought for.